Conspiracy Theory / Théorie du complot


Conspiracy Theory / Théorie du complot


Video walk

16 minutes, 40 seconds

Curated by Réal Lussier for Janet Cardiff. A Survey of Works Including Collaborations with George Bures Miller (May 23 – September 8).

Cardiff & Miller

It was fun doing this piece, hiring a band to reproduce a Becaud song, renting a replica gun, and simulating a car chase. I’m not sure what this narrative was about. I wanted it to be more of a stream- of-consciousness type of piece where you wander through a maze while different scenes unfold. We started it in the museum with a little girl showing you a picture of a dead man and ended it in the parking lot where the man in the photo runs by you escaping the sounds of a gunshot.

opening camera screen blank

Janet Last night I dreamt that I killed a man. It was in a hotel room, a single swift act that disappeared as quickly as it had come. But I couldn’t stop the feeling of guilt about doing it. Even as my eyes opened to the morning light it was still with me.

Janet You have a camera in your hand. Hold it up. Point the camera where I point it … at the chair, the painting. Now move it to the left.

scene fades up camera follows words, looking at painting then pans left. little girl comes slowly upstairs staring into camera, carrying something. she gets closer and stands in front and then holds up a photo for you to see. it’s a photo of a man lying on the ground. zoom into photo. image cuts to movement of video of man lying on ground in parking lot. woman turns to run. two-second shot, then quickly cut back to museum stairs from same viewpoint. woman walks past as camera image gets up, moves up to window

Janet Do you see the stairs in front of you, going up to the right. Get up. Follow the image on the screen. Walk where I walk so we can stay together. Go up to the landing. Stop here. Point the camera outside … now over to the hotel. Zoom in. There’s a figure in the window.

camera zooms into window. a figure is standing at window. cut to a scene inside the hotel room. the woman standing at the window turns and walks past the bed where a man is lying reading. camera image cuts back to outside of hotel windows then pans over to right

Conspiracy Theory is an audio and video walk commissioned and produced by the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal in conjunction with its exhibition, Janet Cardiff. A Survey of Works Including Collaborations with George Bures Miller, that was organized by the P. S. 1 Contemporary Art Center of New York. The museum is located in the heart of downtown Montréal and is part of an architectural complex connected by an underground shopping concourse that includes two other buildings that house major theaters. The route of the walk begins on the second floor of the museum and proceeds down to the first floor and the ground level. It continues through a corridor that is usually reserved for employees, into the shopping concourse and an adjacent parking garage before returning to the concourse and one of the museum’s entrances.

Réal Lussier

Related Publications

Janet Cardiff
The Walk Book

Thyssen_Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna in collaboration with Public Art Fund, New York