Following Janet Cardiff’s voice and walking in her footsteps, you will be led through the backstreets of the Edinburgh’s Old Town, unravelling a disjointed tale – part game-playing, part surrealistic poetry, perhaps even a murder mystery – layered with history, invention and memories.
The image of the street comes up on the screen you are holding. It appears that it has been shot in the exact location that you are standing in, almost as if it is in real time. A figure walks past on the video as another passes by in the real world, the two realities aligning. The sounds from the headphones are startlingly 3-dimensional, further merging the two worlds in front of you. A female voice close behind you says: so here I am in Edinburgh…
As you listen, she begins to tell you where you are – you should be at the bottom of Advocates’ Close, looking out at Cockburn Street with your back to the steps… – and what you should do – now let’s turn around… and go up the stairs.
One of the biggest hits of this year’s Edinburgh international Festival, Cardiff and Miller’s Night Walk for Edinburgh is now a permanent part of The Fruitmarket Gallery’s collection. We plan to run the work every winter, during Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanay celebrations.