Literary-musical reading

Robert Wilson reads John Cage

Lecture on Nothing [1949-1950]

John Cage

John Cage

© Christopher Felver

  • In English

Past Dates

In homage to John Cage, Robert Wilson reads Cage’s Lecture on Nothing, one of the central texts of 20th-century experimental literature.

With his formal sourcing of texts and materials that allow the audience’s imagination to roam freely, Robert Wilson is a congenial interpreter of this lecture. Cage’s lecture was composed exclusively according to musical criteria, topicalizing itself and its own passing. Pulse, speech pauses, the tempi and sounds of language are in the foreground. A non-hierarchical space arises between text and silence, a verbal music of sound and silence.

Robert Wilson, influenced strongly by Cage and Cunningham in the 1960s, is one of the most significant representatives of the theatrical avant-garde, with his aesthetics of slowness and productions emphasising the independence of theatrical elements in strong visual tableaux. Together with composer Arno Kraehahn and the young Polish video artist Tomek Jeziorsk – with whom he recently devised The Life and Death of Marina Abramović – he has developed an acoustically and visually inspired approach to Cage’s text.

“As the talk goes on, we are getting nowhere and that is a pleasure”. (John Cage)

By and with Robert Wilson
Ann-Christin Rommen collaboration
Tomek Jeziorski video
Arno Kraehahn music

A Ruhrtriennale 2012 production.
An Akademie der Künste event, funded by Gesellschaft der Freunde der Akademie der Künste: In the context of the programme “A Year from Monday. 365 Tage Cage”, and part of Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin.

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