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Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, The Marionette Maker, 2014, caravan, marionettes, robotics, lighting, audio (14 minutes), mixed media, 15' 4“ × 18' 6” × 10' 10".

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller

Luhring Augustine | Chelsea

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, The Marionette Maker, 2014, caravan, marionettes, robotics, lighting, audio (14 minutes), mixed media, 15' 4“ × 18' 6” × 10' 10".

A group of inanimate objects endowed with uncanny life, someone at work designing them, a nod to the unconscious, an object whose age introduces the principle of memory: The Marionette Maker, 2014, seems to me to be a parable of artmaking, in more ways than the obvious one that it is named after a maker of sculptural figures. We enter a darkish room holding a familiar but old-fashioned object, a nearly eleven-foot-long caravan, that endearing predecessor, somehow both clunky and flimsy, of today’s hulking RVs. This one is already strange in that it’s topped by a large pair of rotating, megaphone-type speakers, themselves topped in turn by an umbrella much too small to shelter what’s beneath it—a token protection against the storm sounds coming from the speakers, along with aircraft hums, forest murmurs, and other noises. Nearing the caravan, we see that Cardiff and Miller

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