Jade Dellinger, Curator of “Don’t Blame it on ZEN: The Way of John Cage & Friends”

Thursday, January 13th, 2022 at 7PM

Zoom | Registration Required | Suggested Donation

“He hasn’t just been an odd character performing strange music on the stage, he’s a prepared scholar indeed!”

Mike Biorgiono

Host of the gameshow "Lascia o Raddoppia?"

Upon winning millions of lire on the Italian gameshow Lascia o Raddoppia? / Double or Nothing, John Cage was sure to “thank the mushrooms.” Cage, legendary experimental composer and Black Mountain College faculty member, appeared on the program 5 times, not only to showcase his “strange” music but to test his knowledge as a mycologist, or a student of mushrooms and fungi. 

The music he performed for audiences, on game shows like Lascia o Raddoppia? (1959) and I’ve Got a Secret (1960) as well as concert halls and impromptu happenings, asked audiences to question their relationship to music, sound, and the world around them. In 1948 at Black Mountain College, he premiered Sonatas and Interludes on a piano prepared to replicate a percussion ensemble; in 1952 David Tudor premiered Cage’s 4’33”, capturing the sounds of silence.

These are just some examples of Cage’s ineffable character. He was a composer, a teacher, a student, a Zen Buddhist, a forager, a printmaker, a poet, and – perhaps above all – a friend. In the exhibition Don’t Blame it on ZEN: The Way of John Cage & Friends, curator Jade Dellinger, charts Cage’s influence from Black Mountain College to the present day, showcasing not only his work but that of his collaborators and conspirators such as Robert Rauschenberg, Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, and Nam June Paik. 

Join us on Thursday, January 13th at 7PM for a conversation with Jade Dellinger, Director of the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW, as he guides us through the stories behind the artwork featured in Don’t Blame it on ZEN, currently on show at BMCM+AC

This event is by registration only, hosted on Zoom. You will receive the link to join live once you have registered. Please consider donating to Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center to support their work in bringing innovative exhibitions like this to Western North Carolina.

Jade Dellinger is Director of the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW and curator of our current exhibition Don’t Blame It on ZEN: The Way of John Cage & Friends. He has served for eight years now as Director of Exhibitions & Collections at Florida SouthWestern State College.

Dellinger brought Maurizio Cattelan to Florida for his first U.S. museum project in 1995 and has organized major solo and two-person shows for such artists as Yoko Ono, Ann Hamilton, James Franco, Wayne White, Allan McCollum, Robert Rauschenberg, Keith Haring, and Jack Kerouac.

He has written for international publications including Sculpture, Flash Art, Art Papers, and Guitar Aficionado; and co-authored the book Are We Not Men? We are DEVO! (SAF Publishing Ltd., UK 2003/2008), which traces the history of the foundational 1980s New Wave band and 2021 Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame nominees.