Querido John

Querido John


Cage Rattling #3 with Bridget Hayden and Kelly Jayne Jones, Emma Hedditch and Mattin, Will Holder, Charlotte Prodger, Verity Susman

12 November 2012, 8pm
Kings Place, London
£9.50 advance booking online or £7.50 telephone booking offer +44 (0)20 7520 1490*

Querido John brings together a number of meditations and performances departing from a correspondence between Basque artist Esther Ferrer and John Cage.

In the process of realising his final work, the mesostic lecture poem ‘Overpopulation and Art’, Cage sought opinions from various friends and posed to Esther Ferrer the question, ‘does anarchy have a future?’. Embedding her compelling, almost manifesto-like response into the structure of the piece, ‘Overpopulation and Art’ brings together Ferrer’s thoughts on the potential of an ideology without dogma and Cage’s own visionary insights into the future of digital communication and bio-technology, amongst other wide-reaching concerns.

‘Overpopulation and Art’ was performed by Cage at Stanford University during a festival to mark his 80th year, yet he continued working on the piece to remove gender specificity and emphasise the position of patriarchal opposition. The evening takes as its starting point these exchanges that offer a glimpse of a Cagean gender politics, amongst emblematic questions of collaborative practices and autonomy, and the tension between structure, chance and improvisation.

Frequent collaborators Bridget Hayden and Kelly Jayne Jones, on slide guitar, flute and throat mic will present a live improvisation. Emma Hedditch and Mattin contribute a new poster text, including a specially conducted interview with Esther Ferrer on the question of her letter as well as wider thoughts on her practice, politics and the historicisation of figures such as Cage. The text is coupled with a live performance by Mattin underlining certain moments in this exchange.

Jo Freeman’s ‘The Tyranny of Structurelessness’ will be read by Will Holder to Cage’s ‘Score for Voice No 51′ (by Alex Waterman), a new publication in Holder’s series ‘…for single mothers.’ Artist Charlotte Prodger will present a new spoken word tape work which explores the tension between language and material, relating to her concurrent exhibition at Studio Voltaire, Percussion Biface 1-13. Composer and musician Verity Susman exchanges the cut-up samplings of lesbian slash fiction that are usually woven throughout her part-improvised, part-composed live performance, with Cage’s poem and Ferrer’s letter, meditating on the appropriation of characters and texts both in her own work and here between Cage and Ferrer.


Cage Rattling is a series conceived by The Wire Magazine for Kings Place to mark John Cage’s centenary year.

Image credit: Will Holder reciting John Cage’s ‘Indeterminacy’, Jan Mot Gallery, Brussels, 2008


Third Floor, Shacklewell Studios, 18 Shacklewell Lane, London E8 2EZ, UK


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