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All Things Cage: Laura Kuhn Talks with Richard Kraft

Aug 19, 2023: 7pm - 8pm
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All Things Cage: Laura Kuhn Talks with Richard Kraft Broadcast Image

All Things Cage: Laura Kuhn Talks with Richard Kraft Broadcast Image. Courtesy the John Cage Trust.

Hosted by Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust.

Tonight on “All Things Cage” Kuhn talks with Los Angeles and Hudson Valley-based artist Richard Kraft about his new book – or, properly, books – titled It Is What It is: All the Cards Issued to Donald Trump, January 2017-January 2021 (Siglio Press, 2020). By way of introduction to both Kraft and his latest work, Kuhn begins the program by reading Leah Ollman’s excellent review, “A real-time diary that’s a dazzling testament to its subject’s basic incomprehensibility,” which appeared in The Brooklyn Rail‘s Dec. 21-Jan. 22, 2021 issue. Kraft speaks a bit about Cage’s role in the creation of It Is What It Is in his own introduction to the 5-volume slipcase set: having seen/heard an installation of Cage’s Lecture on the Weather with his partner Lisa Pearson, publisher-in-chief of Siglio Press, at the Frith Gallery in London the day after Trump’s election, Kraft felt a most welcome call-to-action that prompted a stunning response. Cage’s “Preface” to Lecture on the Weather is heard at the close of the program.

"All Things Cage" is a weekly program featuring conversations between Laura Kuhn, Director of the John Cage Trust, and Cage experts and enthusiasts from around the world. If you’d like to propose a guest or a topic for a future program, write directly to Laura at lkuhn@johncage.org. She’d love to hear from you.

The late Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Kenneth Silverman once described his Begin Again: A Biography of John Cage (Knopf, 2012) as the hardest book he’d ever written. This was because, as he put it, pick up any rock and there’s John Cage! Indeed, Cage was not only a world-renowned composer, numbering among his compositions the still notoriously tacet 4’33”, but a ground-breaking poet, a philosopher, a chess master who studied with Marcel Duchamp, a macrobiotic chef, a devotee of Zen Buddhism, a prolific visual artist, and an avid and pioneering mycologist. He was also life partner to the celebrated American choreographer, Merce Cunningham, for nearly half a century, and thus well known in the world of modern dance.

No wonder, then, that nearly everyone who encounters the man or his life’s work has something interesting to say about John Cage!

Richard Kraft photo ©Scott Smeltzer.