Lecture on Nothing

Text by John Cage, Performed by Robert Wilson

Premiered on August 22, 2012 at the Ruhrtriennale Festival, Jahrhunderthalle, Bochum, Germany

Performed in English.

As a homage to revolutionary composer John Cage, Robert Wilson performs Cage's Lecture on Nothing, one of the central texts of twentieth-century experimental literature. The production has been described as being an "acoustically and visually inspiring approach to the philosophical and poetic text" which Cage based on a complex time length scheme similar to some of his music.

Cage’s text is charming, often amusing, often quotable, equally often intentionally infuriating and profoundly thought provoking. The composer was in a period of transition, moving away from somewhat traditional composition to the making of music that incorporated chance elements and that treated silence with devout respect. [...]
Wilson makes exceptionally beautiful things. His stage props belong in museums. Yet his theater is non-narrative, only understood by experiencing it, living it.
’All I know about method,’ Cage writes at the end of ‘Lecture on Nothing,’ ‘is that when I am not working I sometimes think I know something, but when I am working, it is quite clear that I know nothing.’ Others might call that enlightenment. Wilson, sublimely, showed why.
— Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2013

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