Lecture on Nothing, John Cage
Performed by Bryana Fritz
Non-conformist as he was, John Cage chose to turn a lecture about his music into a work that is not even a lecture (at the most, it keeps up appearances) and is not even about his music. "Nothing" is literally the most important subject, in a text in which Cage collects anecdotes, makes references to Zen Buddhism (which he was deeply involved in at the time) and above all plays an amusing game with the audience's expectations. Moreover, the Lecture on Nothing is literally composed: it uses the same "rhythmic" structure as he used in his compositions from the previous years, with different structural levels all following the same proportional division. Cage divides the text into four columns so that it has 4 "measures" per line, which can be filled with either text or silence. Together they form 48 time blocks of 48 bars, all of which follow the ratios 7-6-14-14-7 at the level of the number of units (the bars) and at the level of the number of blocks. Silence and text are carefully distributed over the time structure, forming a subtle duet, in which this composition - because that is what it is in the end - explains, among other things, its own structure as it unfolds.
Bryana Fritz was born in Chicago and has studied dance in Minneapolis (US), Essen (DE) and with P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels. She’s since lived and worked here as a dancer, performance-maker and poet. In 2017 she performed ‘Indispensible Blue’ at Beursschouwburg, another poetic quest combining choreography and the theme of our digital world. With her new performance, Fritz further pursues her romance with dance, poetry and the digital screen.