February 17, 2011


John Cage - Every Day is a Good Day

The US composer John Cage (1912-92) was most famous or notorious for 4' 33" - in which a "performer" sits at a piano for 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence. Yet, as well as composing musical works, he was also a keen visual artist in his later life. This exhibition at the Hunterian Art Gallery brings together some of his finest prints, drawings and watercolours. A born innovator, Cage often experimented with unusual techniques such as burning or wetting the paper. He was also fascinated by the role of chance in music. This is reflected in this exhibition in the curators' decision to use randomised computer software to determine the choice and position on the walls of the artworks on display. A number of concerts will accompany the exhibition, which runs from 19 February to 2 April.


Shakespeare and Rhetorical Invention

Quentin Skinner, Barber Beaumont professor of the humanities at Queen Mary, University of London, has also served as Regius professor of modern history and pro vice-chancellor at the University of Cambridge. He has published extensively on Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes and early modern political thinking and rhetoric. He has been invited to give the annual public Clarendon Lectures at the University of Oxford. The lectures, given at the Examination Schools at 5.15pm, are titled: "The Renaissance Theory of Rhetorical Invention" (22 February), "Shakespeare on Beginning to Speak" (24 February), "Shakespeare and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative" (1 March) and "Shakespeare and the Rhetorical Theory of Proof" (3 March).


The Blue Dragon

One of the boldest and most unpredictable theatre directors of our time, Robert Lepage has often focused on different cultures intertwining and clashing. One of his breakthrough works was The Dragons' Trilogy (1985), in which he created the central character, Quebecois artist Pierre Lamontagne. In this unexpected sequel, which Lepage co-wrote with Marie Michaud as well as directed, he also reappears as Lamontagne, who has resurfaced 20 years later in Shanghai. The action unfolds through a series of life-changing encounters with a former classmate and a young Chinese conceptual artist. A dazzling piece of theatrical spectacle, like all Lepage's productions, The Blue Dragon at the Barbican Theatre also offers a startlingly original picture of China today. It runs from 17 to 26 February.


Cosima von Bonin

Cosima von Bonin works in a spectrum of media ranging from sculpture, installation, painting and textiles to performance, sound and film. Although she is one of the most prolific artists in Germany today, she has never had a solo exhibition in the UK. This one at the Arnolfini forms part of the wider pan-European Lazy Susan Series, which focuses on the themes of sloth and fatigue. The objects on display from 19 February to 25 April include oversized stuffed animals, sewn paintings and minimalist sculptures that allude to high art as well as popular culture, while often challenging conventional notions of femininity and domesticity.


London Street Photography

Street photography - the result of a fortunate encounter, a fleeting expression or a momentary juxtaposition - has supplied some of the most memorable images of the capital. This Museum of London exhibition displays more than 200 images of everyday life from 1860 to the present. The 59 photographers featured include some remarkable characters. Paul Martin, in the early 1890s, used a camera disguised as a parcel to photograph people unawares. Wolf Suschitzky came to London from Vienna in 1935 and embarked upon a personal project to capture Charing Cross Road by night and day, while Paul Trevor's decade of almost daily pictures of Brick Lane in the East End, starting in the early 1970s, offer a remarkable record of the period before large-scale immigration and gentrification. The exhibition runs from 18 February to 4 September.

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