Janice Gurney
Outside Our Doors

audioout_jg Outside Our Doors (2009 – 10) is a recording of a number of different voices, each speaking in a language other than English. Each person is heard reading their own translation of the following meditation from Book 9 of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius:

Things stand outside our doors, themselves by themselves,
Neither knowing nor reporting anything about themselves.

The recording begins with the artist reading A.S.L. Farquharson’s translation, which comes from the standard English edition of The Meditations, first published in 1944. Other voices follow, reading the meditation in Italian, French, Spanish, German, Korean, Cantonese, Farsi, Yiddish, Danish, Arabic, Czech, Punjabi, and Hebrew.
Each meditation was recorded outside the door of the reader. The ambient sounds that occur before, during, and after each recitation are heard on the recording. The project is a social map of the languages that surround the artist.

Janice Gurney has been working in various ways with The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius for the past ten years. Outside Our Doors is her first audio work. She is in the second year of the PhD program in Art and Visual Culture at the University of Western Ontario and is represented by Wynick/Tuck Gallery in Toronto.
The artist would like to thank June Pak for her editing of the piece, and Andy Patton for technical assistance.