John Cage: The Silent Presence

Vitaly Patsyukov

The project “John Cage: The Silent Presence”, coinciding with the American composer and thinker’s centenary and the 60th anniversary of the first performance of his composition 4’33”, was dedicated to the creativity of Cage and his influence on the development of new culture in Russia. This interdisciplinary project was the first attempt at showing the different facets of the composer’s personality and at creating a space in which to realize the idea of the coexistence of contrasting living worlds and the equality of all art forms. It was not simply a performative presentation of John Cage’s creation and philosophy, but a research into the role of the composer in the development of the musical and visual culture of Russia. The exhibition “John Cage’s Experiments in Context” at Ekaterina Cultural Foundation was dedicated to the influence of the ideas and experiments of Cage on contemporary artistic processes. The main part of the project presented the work of Cage and his closest associates: choreographer Merce Cunningham and artist Robert Rauschenberg. At the core of the exhibition one could see manuscripts and video recordings of performances of the composer’s fundamental works, graphic works by Cage, and also a reconstruction of his renowned “Lecture on Nothing”. The exhibition projects were preceded by musical programs with the participation of Russian and American performers.

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