title : Lecture on nothing ( 1949)
by John Cage (1912-1992)
read by Jérôme Bel
translation to French Vincent Barras in Silence – Conférences et écrits (Éditions Héros-Limite)
production : R.B. Jérôme Bel (Paris)
thanks to : La Commune Centre dramatique national d’Aubervilliers, Festival d'Automne à Paris, The John Cage Trust
duration : about 1h approx. Lecture given in French only.
R.B Jérôme Bel is supported by the Direction régionale des affaires culturelles d'Ile-de-France, French Ministry for Culture and Communication, by the Institut Français, French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, for its international tours and by ONDA - Office National de Diffusion Artistique - for its tours in France
R.B. Jérôme Bel :
artistic advice and executive direction : Rebecca Lee
production manager : Sandro Grando
website : www.jeromebel.fr
In 1949, John Cage gave a lecture at the Artist’s Club in New York. His text, Lecture on Nothing, adopted the structure of his recent musical compositions. It was at once an artistic manifesto and a listening experiment, akin to hypnosis.
"I have nothing to say and I am saying it". These words uttered by John Cage at the beginning of his lecture thinly disguise the amazing wealth of that Lecture on Nothing. Philosophy, musicologiy, poetry, autobiography, narrative, meditation, utopia... John Cage, that eclectic artist, who was not just a musician, had a huge amount of things to tell us. Or rather to make us hear, and perceive. His thinking had an ethical, even political breadth: what do we need ? Where might we find happiness ? How can we love the world around us ? Through the withdrawal that he achieved, the suspension of meaning in favour of listening, Cage opened up a new area of experimentation.