The Skybridge Art & Sound Space is pleased to announce the opening of Not Wanting to Say Anything About John Cage, an exhibition inspired by the legacy of one of the most influential composers and artists of the 20th century.
In a career spanning more than sixty years, Cage crafted works that transformed the way we understand music, sound, performance, and language. Some of his most significant theories and compositions evolved during his tenure as both a student and instructor at The New School in the period 1956-1961. These included his participation in the Fluxus movement, a number of whose members enrolled in Cage’s course in “Experimental Composition,” and his growing interest in Zen Buddhism as a result of attending D. T. Suzuki’s course at the New School.
Among the explorations that Cage participated in was the creation of visual scores, and one of the resulting works, Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel, a version of which is in the New School’s collection, served as the main influence for the exhibition.
The show includes interactive sound installations, with contributions from students in Ivan Raykoff’s class “Re-imagining John Cage,” as well as three large-scale visual, aural and performative art pieces produced by Aron Cohen, Reena Katz, and Leah Raintree, graduate students in the MFA Fine Arts program at Parsons. Although differing in intent and material output, the works of these three young artists reveal a profound connection with some of the ideas and processes that informed Cage’s work, such as the use of chance operations, a detachment from personal expression in favor of the expressivity of things in themselves, and a concern with nature and its preservation.
Aron Louis Cohen responds to the ecological, social, and political implications of industrialized processes that sustain our way of life through direct interaction with materials from his daily environment. Reena Katz works with live and recorded talking, whispering, yelling and listening to consider bodies as sites of knowledge, and communication as a social and political practice. Leah Raintree is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice addresses our relationship to land, the environment, and the permeability of bodies in space.
For the opening of the exhibit on May 2nd, Katz and Raintree will collaborate on a live performance in which the sound of Raintree’s workings in stone will be recorded by Katz and broadcast throughout the Vera List Courtyard of The New School.
Other elements of the show include interactive installations, soundscapes, videos of Cage in performance, as well as found objects and visual displays designed to transport the visitor into a Cageian milieu.