Art Lies, Volume 2, May-June 1994

J or

Cage
AT THE MENIL COLLECTION
by Bill Davenport

It is not the idea of this e btion\ much as s realization that is interesting. They
actually did it! And did it wi :convictio. This is shat sets Cage's work apart from the
run of the mill countercultur art "happening". No effort is spared in installing or
removing the objects and rear nging the presenation according to a set of quasi-
random instructions.
Random events are inherently ing. St ic on the TV screen may fascinate for a
moment, but the ever-changing tterns ickly fl ten out into a meta-sameness.
Cage's work is like this. It is intere only ong as you pay attention to the details,
which are more or less arbitrary. Wh eaves the viewer of this exhibition from tedium is
the lack of coercion. You are free to 'opk as long or s short as you like, to participate
or be a wallflower, to leave and come back"lto eacTa ook or even fall asleep. However
you choose to interact with the ot cts ad ev presented is O.K. It is this
permissive atmosphere that makes the J olywholyover interesting
rather than tyrannical.
Chance compositions are like sc. o liquidE that
flow to fill the available space. Ito -they lack over 11
structure, they have flavor. RolywhQy er is a ognizably
Cage flavored event. Zen, Rausche1 rg, co stains,
and fungi are the familiar ingredients. Allt
of a flower child optimism that Cage someho n
allowing these dated elements to speak to al e
Cage presents us with a work in which th is o
conflict-a peaceable kingdom where the lion d n
with the lamb. A rusting metal plate sits next to n Al
square; a potted plant rests beneath a paper scrl; a bit o
the Apollo 13 heat shield is found next to a computer.
To fans of the avant-garde this exhibition may seem old hat-cute but somewhat
juvenile tricksterism. Such cynicism, however, bounces off Rolywholyover like bullets off
of Godzilla. A dose of chaos now and then is a sure remedy for complacency, and
Rolywholyover offers just that- but you have to play along.u

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Chandler, Wade & Schwab, Eric Jonah. Art Lies, Volume 2, May-June 1994. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth228035/. Accessed August 3, 2015.