Robert Whitman performs “Inside Out”
and a screening of John Cage “An Alphabet”
Thursday, May 10
Doors 7pm, Performance 7:30pm*
*Robert Whitman’s “Inside Out” will be performed at 7:30pm + 9:00pm
$5 suggested donation
155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY
Triple Canopy in collaboration with Norte Maar is pleased to present the fourth evening of Cage Transmitted: Celebrating + Playing John Cage, a year-long series of performances and events to celebrate John Cage’s centennial year. The evening will feature two rarely seen performances that reflect on Cage’s relationship to Marcel Duchamp.
Robert Whitman will perform the New York premier of Inside Out, a theater piece incorporating slides and film, which he first performed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1987. Whitman is best known for his seminal and continuing work in creating innovative, non-narrative, imagistic theater pieces. Whitman was a member of the group of visual artists—Allan Kaprow, Red Grooms, Jim Dine, and Claes Oldenburg—who in the early 1960s presented theater pieces on the lower east side in Manhattan. Whitman has since presented more than forty theater pieces in the United States and abroad, works that are rich in visual and sound images, and incorporate actors, film, slides, sound, and evocative props in environments of his own making.
The evening also includes the first public showing of a video of John Cage reading Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce, Erik Satie: An Alphabet. Originally devised as a radio play, An Alphabet was commissioned in 1982 by Cologne’s West German Radio. The piece postulates an imaginary encounter between the narrator, ostensibly John Cage, and sixteen creative personalities, who represent “an alphabet by means of which we spell our lives.” In 1982 Virginia Dwan of Dwan Gallery, invited Cage to read the recently written version of An Alphabet and arranged to videotape his performance.
Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce, Erik Satie: An Alphabet unfolds as a fantasy meeting of some of history’s most imaginative minds. The conversants are introduced by a narrator who poses as Cage himself. In addition to the title characters, other contributors to the dialogue include Buckminster Fuller, Robert Rauschenberg, Henry David Thoreau, Mao Tse-Tung and Thorstein Veblen.
In 2001, Laura Kuhn conceived and directed a staged version of John Cage’s 1982 radio play Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce, Erik Satie: An Alphabet, with Michael Rouse’s realization of a score left in manuscript by Cage and a cast that included Rouse, Merce Cunningham, David Vaughan, and John Kelly.
At the time The John Cage Trust published a beautiful libretto booklet for the production, designed by Naomi Evans (pictured above).
Copies of this book will be available for purchase at the Cage Transmitted screening of Cage reading An Alphabet.
Cage Transmitted: Celebrating + Playing John Cage is organized by Norte Maar in collaboration with E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology). The evenings of music, poetry, theater, visual art, performance and dance, by, for, or about Cage and and his life and work, will span the calendar year of 2012