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© Courtesy of Henie Onstad Art Center

Sonja Henies vei 31
NO-1311 Oslo
February 25th, 2010 - May 30th, 2010

+47 67 80 48 80
Tuesday - Friday; 11am - 7pm Saturday - Sunday; 11am - 5pm
NOK 50


Even though the name John Cage (1912-1992) means something to most of us, his works are not as well known. Cage's work was so groundbreaking that he changed the face of both modern music and dance. His radical ideas had a decisive effect on the development of art, and his influence is still making its mark to this very day.

The purpose of this exhibition is to demonstrate how important Cage was for contemporary art. John Cage – The Anarchy of Silence – is the largest exhibition about Cage that has been held since his death in 1992. It is also the first time that an exhibition puts his work into political, artistic and historic context. In addition to his own works, the exhibition features works that he created in collaboration with other artists. With Cage as a common denominator, Marcel Duchamp is presented side by side with leading artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Morris and Andy Warhol. Sound clips, films, compositions and documentary material will provide the public with a broad insight into many of Cage's pioneering ideas.

The more you learn about John Cage, the more you realise how epoch-making his work was. But it all started with music – something that we have plenty of room for in the exhibition halls at Høvikodden. Here, we will be presenting Cage's prepared piano, his best-known composition 4'33, which consists entirely of silence, and his innovative multimedia projects.

John Cage visited Høvikodden in 1983 and held several concerts here, so several Norwegian artists and musicians were in close contact with him. The Henie Onstad Art Centre's exhibition pays tribute to this by presenting four days of music devoted to John Cage, when Cage compositions will be performed, along with concerts by musicians and sound artists who were inspired by Cage. In addition, as many as three newly commissioned works will be performed.

Throughout the exhibition period, the commissioned work Studio by Deathprod (Helge Sten) will be on show in the Studio as a permanent sound and light installation. As a finale, Deathprod will hold one of their rare concerts inside this very installation. The Australian composer and audiovisual artist Robin Fox has created a commissioned work consisting of a spectacular laser show accompanied by a musical sound score. Jim O'Rourke (formerly Sonic Youth) has made a tape piece especially for The Henie Onstad Art Centre, which will only be performed once. Other concerts during the exhibition period include Else Olsen S, Low Frequency in Stereo, Kjell Samkopf, Håvard Volden/Toshimaru Nakamura and Lemur withTom Løberg, who will read his Norwegian versions of Cage's Indeterminancy textsAndrea Neumann will present a reconstruction of Cage's TV piece Water Walk, with a live collage of bathtub splashing, wine bottles and boiling water.

John Cage's fantastic sound universe and philosophy are easy to understand – if you are receptive to new ideas. In his time, he succeeded in persuading many to open their ears and minds to new sounds. In many ways, he redefined what we call music and art. With the next generation of musicians in mind, the Art Centre has invited students from The Norwegian Academy of Music, led by Rolf Erik Nystrøm, to hold an exclusive workshop for children. This will consist of an entertaining introduction to John Cage's innovative ideas and a workshop, ending with a Cage concert especially created and performed for children.

The Henie Onstad Art Centre has produced a comprehensive CD and book entitled John Cage in Norway, which documents Cage's visit to Norway in 1983, when he spent a week at The Henie Onstad Art Centre and a group of Norwegian musicians including Christian Eggen, Magne Hegdal, Kjell Samkopf and Rob Waring performed his works. John Cage in Norway comprises a 64-page booklet of new articles about Cage, a transcription of a conversation that Cage held at the State Academy of Art, a newly written article written by musicians who worked with him here in Norway and a number of hitherto unpublished pictures.


Sunday 28th February at 2 pm: John Cage day 1
Jim O'Rourke: commissioned tape work
Else Olsen S: John Cage - Sonatas and Interludes (1946-48)
Håvard Volden and Toshimaru Nakamura: John Cage - Sculptures Musicales (1989)
Kjell Samkopf: John Cage - Child of Tree (1975)
In collaboration with Ny Musikk
Tickets: NOK 50

Sunday 21st March at 2 pm: John Cage day 2
Robin Fox (commissioned work) - Low Frequency in Stereo
Tickets: NOK 50

Sunday 11th April: Cage for Kids!
Workshop and concert in collaboration with The Norwegian Academy of Music
Tickets: NOK 50

Sunday 25th April at 2 pm: John Cage day 3
Lemur and Tom Løberg: Four6 (1992), Cage in Norwegian
Deathprod: concert in the Studio (commissioned work)
Andrea Neumann: John Cage – Water Walk (1959) and extracts from Song Books (1970)
Tickets: NOK 50

The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between The Henie Onstad Art Centre, MACBA, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona and SHUNCK in the Netherlands, and has been curated by Julia Robinson.