Eszter Salamon. Dance for Nothing. 2014. Photograph © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

The 2014 season of the Department of Media and Performance Art’s performance program begins with a pair of programs related to the exhibition There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage’s 4′33″, which centers around MoMA’s recent acquisition of 4′33″, Cage’s groundbreaking “silent” score. Cage’s piece, which premiered in 1952, represented a groundbreaking revolutionary gesture, introducing chance procedures and subverting the conventions of music—and of art in general. 4′33″ remains a major influence on contemporary art practice and theory.

The program begins on January 15 and 16 with Eszter Salamon’s Dance for Nothing, a performance that uses John Cage’s extraordinary experimental work Lecture on Nothing (c. 1949–50) as a spoken, rhythmic score.

The performance program continues in February with a series of interpretations of 4′33″ and composer Erik Satie’s Vexations. In 1963, Cage debuted an interpretation of Satie’s Vexations by having performers repeat the motif 840 times, as per Satie’s original manuscript. On selected weekdays, February 7–21, guest artists and MoMA staff members will activate these two compositions in their own ways. Performances take place on MoMA’s second-floor Bauhaus Staircase.

Organized by Ana Janevski, Associate Curator, with Leora Morinis, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art.

The performance is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.

Dance for Nothing is presented as part of the American Realness festival.

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