Monday, March 9, 2009


Rolywholyover: A Circus was the massive, multi-city retrospective show that Cage had been working on before his death in 1992. Debuting in Los Angeles at the MOCA in 1993, this show was extremely unconventional in it's format and presentation (who would have expected anything less from Cage?), with objects on display changing nearly every day, depending on the results of chance operations set in motion by Cage. Museum staffers pulled works from the MOCA permanent collection as well as works on loan and stacks of Cages prints, correspondence, personal effects, etc. 

Trying to capture that ephemeral effect within an exhibition catalog was executed successfully by Rizzoli, with design consultation by Cage himself. They published a very unusual 'mirrored' box (inspired by Duchamp's Green Box) that contained an amazing collection of contents; reproduced artworks, many of Cage's handwritten notes/compositions, letter from friends, recipes and much more, all printed on sheets  semi-transparent vellum. Of course, there were also the obligatory catalogue essays by curators, philosophers and fellow artists. This thing is EASILY the most adventurous and engaging exhibition catalog I have ever seen and it's well worth the purchase if you can find a copy...I donated my original copy to the SCAD library years ago.

(many thanks to CC for surprising me with this replacement copy!! XO)

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