John Cage preparing a piano, ca. 1950. Photo: Merce Cunningham Dance Company.


John Cage and Experimental Art

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Plaça dels Angels, 1
October 23, 2009–January 10, 2010

Henie Onstad Art Centre

January 25–May 30, 2010

Curated by Julia Robinson

For John Cage, immanence was bliss. His work and worldview perennially straddled radical materialism and romantic yen. Letting sounds be sounds, allowing chance to rule, Cage’s anarchic leveling of materials and events redefined the work, the score, the act. This large-scale survey at MACBA, produced with Henie Onstad Art Centre, promises to unveil the full and often paradoxical swath of Cage’s practice with more than two hundred recordings, scores, and objects—from his early prepared-piano compositions, to works that emphasize his pedagogical impact at Black Mountain and the New School, to performance-based and collaborative engagements with technological systems (including the mesmerizing HPSCHD, 1967–69). Catalogue essays by Yve-Alain Bois, Robinson, and others will further expound Cage’s ardent dedication to not composing.