Marlborough Contemporary is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by leading internationally acclaimed Portuguese artist João Onofre.
At the centre of the exhibition will be Onofre’s new film Tacet - a reinterpretation of experimental composer John Cage’s iconic ‘silent’ work, 4’33’’. Cage originally composed 4’33’’ in 1952 to be interpreted by any combination of instruments, but with instructions for the performers not to play throughout the four minutes and thirty-three seconds of the score. The ambient sounds occurring in the space during this time become part of the piece.
The Latin term ‘tacet’, after which the film is named, is the sole instruction in Cage’s musical score, meaning ‘it is silent’. As in Cage’s piece, the beginning of Onofre’s film is marked by the performer's entrance and the pianist João Aboim closing the piano lid. However, in a divergence from Cage’s instruction, the pianist sets the piano alight.The gradually building fire becomes the dominant sound and a startling image in contrast to the classical scene.
Several other works will also feature in the exhibition, including a large scale aquatint series, in which Onofre converts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights together with an unseen image into binary code.
Preceding this exhibition at Marlborough Contemporary, Onofre’s Box sized DIE featuring... (2007-2014), showed in London for the first time in June. The sculpture references Tony Smith’s pioneering minimalist sculpture Die (1962) having identical dimensions to Smith’s work. In Onofre’s interpretation, the steel cube comes to life with a regular live set from a local Death Metal band, who play inside the sealed cube until they run out of air. The sculpture was positioned outside the City of London landmark, the ‘Gherkin’, and was activated by London based Death Metal band, Unfathomable Ruination. Box sized DIE has toured extensively through Europe at venues including Unlimited, Art Basel; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and Fundação de Serralves, Porto.
Tacet continues at Marlbrough Contemporary until 10 January 2015.