PRINT December 2012

Thomas Crow

View of “Notations: The Cage Effect Today,” 2012. Foreground: Edgardo Rudnitzky, Octopus, 2008. Background: Kaz Oshiro, Orange Speaker Cabinets and Gray Scale Boxes (18 parts), 2009. Photo: Julio Grinblatt.

THIS PAST WINTER, the Hunter College art program mounted “Notations: The Cage Effect Today” in its Times Square Gallery on far-west Forty-First Street. For an exhibition in honor of a composer who chose Silence as the title of his collected writings, the cacophony of traffic rumbling and screeching in the lee of the Port Authority Bus Terminal seemed both contradictory and entirely apposite. The visitor, rattled by the abrasive sonic events on the exterior, gladly surrendered to the relative peace of the gallery’s grotto-like spaces, into which the racket outside entered as the sort of randomized aural ambience to which Cage so often called attention. Blending with muffled external sounds in the first of the gallery’s labyrinthine, high-ceilinged spaces were speakers playing his ninety-minute orchestral work 103, which premiered in 1992, the last year of his life. 103 is a piece

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