Renowned American composer Gordon Mumma offers a screening of his documentary TIME’SPACE chronicling the rehearsals, conversations, performance and visual art of Cage from 1960–80 followed by a conversation with Mumma about his experiences with Cage, and his profound impact on music, art and culture.
John Cage (1912-1992) was an American composer, philosopher and artist. It is impossible to define Cage in terms of a single discipline. It may be that his discipline is simply the imagination, endlessly provoked. Cage is best known for developing indeterminacy as the principal method used for creating his work, whether it be sound, text or image.
A tireless worker and organizer, he was a friend of and collaborator with many of the most important contemporary artists and thinkers, including: Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Marcel Duchamp, Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham, Marshall McLuhan, Norman O. Brown. In the early 1950’s he was also a member, along with composers Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff and Earle Brown, of what is now called the New York School. Cage was very strongly influenced by eastern thought, initially Hindu then more importantly Zen, which he studied from the late 40’s on. The music of French composer Erik Satie, and the writings of American philosopher Henry David Thoreau and Irish writer James Joyce are central to his work.
This program is offer in conjunction with a new exhibition at the Gallery guest curated by Christopher Butterfield. Devoted Play brings together artifacts which show various aspects of a man now considered among the most influential figures in art and music. Each object illuminates a part of Cage’s world, whether musical, visual, or philosophical: a letter justifying 4’33”, his notorious silent piece; a Japanese zen painting; examples of his own graphic work; and film of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, with which he was associated for many years.
This exhibition and affiliated programs will be part of a city wide celebration of Cage’s 100th birthday with exhibitions and performances presented by the Victoria Symphony, Open Space, and the University of Victoria. Our ‘Season of Cage’ kicks off with an Opening Event at the Gallery on November 8 at 7pm featuring a special performance of one of John Cage’s compositions. For information on all Cage-related events, both local and international, go to: johncage.org.
Tickets: $15 ($5 for members). May be purchased in person or over the phone starting November 8. 250-384-4171 ext.0
Venue contact information:
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria