Janet Cardiff:
Forty-Part Motet

16 Oct–12 Dec 2004

Main Exhibition Gallery

Presented as part of the 2004 Melbourne Festival’s ‘VOICE’ series, ACCA hosted Janet Cardiff’s now famous multi-voiced installation Forty-Part Motet, a performance of Thomas Tallis’ Spem in Alium nunquam habui.  First staged in 2001, Forty-Part Motet has had a number of manifestations in cathedrals, museums and kunsthalles.  At ACCA, Cardiff re-presented the installation to best reflect its highly minimalist situation. The project involved 40 individual soundtracks, each containing a unique voice which, when brought together, form a choir to sing Tallis’ composition.  Like many of Cardiff’s sound pieces the audience became aware of the fragmentary and communal moments of aural occasion.

Curator: Rebecca Coates

MIAF Visual Arts Program

In the Press
16 October, The Age, Sculpting sounds into the spaces of silence
25 October, The Age, Straining to be heard
25 October, The Australian, Lucid screams to stir the nation’s soul
27 October, The Age, Feel the mighty rhythm 


Janet Cardiff