Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

The Murder of Crows

Janet Cardiff y George Bures Miller
17 February to 25 July 2022

Tuesday to Thursday from 5pm to 9pm. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 12 noon to 9pm. Monday closed

* The sound volume of this installation is not recommended for children under 10 years of age


Free access until full capacity

Nave 0

A sound installation in which the artists explore the sculptural and physical attributes of sound

* The sound volume of this installation is not recommended for children under 10 years of age


This iconic sound installation produced by Matadero Madrid in collaboration with TBA21, and presented for the first time in Spain, is part of Cardiff and Miller‘s exploration into the sculptural and physical attributes of sound. It is conceived like a film or a play, but one whose images and narrative structures are created by the sound. The piece takes its inspiration from The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters by Francisco de Goya (Caprichos, 1799) and sounds and noises roam the space of the exhibition like the owls and bats that flit around the sleeper in Goya’s etching. The installation becomes a requiem for a world that has lost its bearings, where a dearth of reason has brought forth unimaginable atrocities, madness, and catastrophe.

Janet Cardiff (1957) and George Bures Miller (1960) live and work in British Columbia. They are internationally recognized for their immersive multimedia sound installations and walks. They have recently shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, Mexico (2019); Oude Kerk, Amsterdam (2018); 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2017); Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2017); ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Denmark (2015); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2015); Menil Collection, Houston (2015); 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014); the Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2013); and Documenta 13, Kassel (2012). In 2011, they received Germany’s Käthe Kollwitz Prize, and in 2001, represented Canada at the 49th Venice Biennale, for which they received the International Prize and the Benesse Prize.

TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary is a leading international art and advocacy foundation created in 2002 by the philanthropist and collector Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, representing the fourth generation of the Thyssen family’s commitment to the arts and public service. The TBA21 Foundation—based in Madrid and Vienna, with situated projects in Venice and Córdoba—stewards the TBA21 Collection and its outreach activities, which include exhibitions, fellowships, residencies, educational and public programming, and policy interventions. All activity is fundamentally driven by artists and the belief in art and culture as a carrier of social and environmental transformation and change.


Conversation between Janet Cardiff and Estrella de Diego, introduced by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (English, Spanish)
Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid
February 16th, 7 pm

TBA21 Commission: A Conversation
Conversation between Janet Cardiff, Ragnar Kjartansson, Daniela Zyman
and Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (English)
Nave 17. Matadero Madrid
February 19th, 12.30 pm
* Free entrance

Guided visits by Soledad Gutiérrez, TBA21 (Spanish, English)
Nave 0. Matadero Madrid
February 25th, 6 pm and 8 pm
* Free entrance

The Murder of Crows, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller. Vista de la instalación en Matadero Madrid, 2022. Imagen: Estudio Perplejo
Artistic team and specifications

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller
The Murder of Crows, 2008
Ninety-eight channel sound installation, speakers and stands, computer and program, gramophone horn speaker, table, fifty-five chairs
30 min
Overall dimensions variable
Commissioned by TBA21, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary for the
16th Biennale of Sydney (2008)
TBA21, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection