7. “That is a very good question. I do not want to spoil it with an answer” (21)
Some Final Remarks
This quotation is taken from Cage’s afternote to his Lecture on Nothing which is part of his book Silence. After delivering his Lecture on Nothing, “he prepared six answers for the first six questions asked, regardless of what they were.”(22)“That is a very good question. I do not want to spoil it with an answer” is one of them. Cage’s amusing idea originated from the belief that a discussion is nothing more than an entertainment. Cage, as a result of using chance operations in his music, made his responsibility that of asking questions instead of giving answers and making choices. He was not much interested in giving answers as well as in receiving definite answers – as the nature of Cage’s friendship with Duchamp well demonstrated. Experience, in Cage’s mind, was much more important than understanding. Duchamp, on the other hand, made every effort to make his art mysterious. He was not either interested in giving ultimate answers as he believed that the creative act was a joint effort by the artist and the spectator.
I am introducing the final paragraphs of my paper with the analysis of a quotation that I believe is quite apt to ‘finish’ the never ending circle of the DuCage experience. Both Duchamp and Cage demonstrated with their artworks that there is much space for the spectator’s experience and curiosity. They do not offer ultimate answers but leave much space for our own imagination. Like Duchamp and Cage, I am not concerned here with an ultimate answer or ‘summary’ of my project. I see no point in writing a ‘summary’ after having studied those two artists. It would at least seem rather paradoxical to me. Instead, I would like to leave you with the voices of Duchamp and Cage as a ‘stepping stone’ for your own imagination:
“This is also for me the effect of modern painting on my eyes, so when I go around the city I look, I look at the walls….and I look at the pavement and so forth as though I’m in a museum or in a gallery. In other words, I don’t turn my aesthetic faculties off when I’m outside a museum or gallery.”(24) —John Cage
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Why did I choose these two quotations?………………………
I believe that many people associate with modern art something that is worldly innocent, something that has nothing to do with their reality. After having had the possibility to immerse in the world of DuCage, I am not so sure if there is a difference between art and the life around us. Art, for them, was normality - it was a part of their life as was the street they were living in. Museums then, would symbolize nothing else than life – or we may also change this expression like a parable – namely that life is one big museum… Isn’t every single artwork simply an emotional expression of an individual? If that is so, isn’t then art all about the capability of interpreting the things that are going on around us? I believe it is enough if we try to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. This is what being a glass wanderer is all about.
Baruchello, Gianfran co and Martin Henry. Warum Weshalb Wozu Duchamp. Klagenfurt: Ritter,1993.
Bischof, Ulrike et al. Kunst als Grenzbeschreitung – John Cage und die Moderne. Düsseldorf: Richter-Verlag, 1992.
Bianco, Paolo und Doswald Christoph. Andy Warhol - Joseph Beuys. Gegenspieler. Frankfurt/Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 2000.
Cabanne, Pierre. Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp. London: Paperback, 1988.
Cabanne, Pierre. Duchamp & Co. Paris: Terrail, 1997.
Cage, John. Silence. Middletown/Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1967.
Cage, John. M-Writings ’67-’72. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1973.
Cage, John. A Year from Monday. Lectures and Writings. London: Marion Boyars, 1985.
Cage, John. X-Writings ’79-’82. Middletown: Wesleyan Paperback, 1986.
Cage, John. Composition in Retrospect. Cambridge/MA: Exact Change, 1993.
Cage, John. The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures. Cambridge/MA: Harvard University Press, 1990.
Charles Daniel. For the Birds – John Cage in Conversation with Daniel Charles. London : Marion Boyars, 1995.
Charles Daniel. John Cage oder Die Musik ist los. Berlin: Merve Verlag, 1979.
Daniels, Dieter. Duchamp und die Anderen. Köln : DuMont Buchverlag, 1992.
De Duve, Thierry. Kant after Duchamp. Cambridge/MA: MIT Press, 1996.
D’Harnoncourt, Anne and McShine Kynaston. Marcel Duchamp. New York : Prestel, 1989.
D’Harnoncourt, Anne et al. Joseph Cornell/Marcel Duchamp…in Resonance. Houston: Cantz, 1998.
Duchamp, Marcel. A l’Infinitif. The Typosophic Society. Over Wallop/UK: BAS printers, 1999.
Fetz, Wolfgang, Hrsg. Sommerprojekte Bregenz 1998. Kunst in der Stadt 2. Bregenz: Teutsch, 1998.
Fetz, Wolfgang, Hrsg. L’Art est Inutile. Avantgardekunst/Arte D’Avanguardia 1960 – 1980. Bregenz : Hecht Druck, 1993.
Geddes & Grosset. Dictionary of Art. New Lanark/Scotland: Brockhampton Press, 1995.
Gena, Peter and Brent Jonathan. A John Cage Reader. New York: C.F. Peters Higgins, 1998.
Glasmeier, Michael und Hartel, Gaby, Hrsg. Beckett, Samuel. Das Gleiche noch mal Anders. Texte zur Bildenden Kunst. Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 2000.
Gough-Cooper, Jennifer et al. Marcel Duchamp. London : Thames and Hudson, 1993.
Hauskeller, Michael. Was ist Kunst? Positionen der Ästhetik von Platon bis Danto. München: C.H. Beck, 1998.
Kandinsky, Wassily. Essays über Kunst und Künstler. Bern: Benteli Verlag, 1973.
Kostelanetz, Richard, ed. Conversing with Cage. New York: Limelight Editions, 1988.
Kostelanetz, Richard, ed. John Cage. London: Penguin, 1971.
Klotz, Heinrich. Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert. Moderne – Postmoderne – Zweite Moderne. München: C.H. Beck, 1999.
Kotte, Wouter. Marcel Duchamp als Zeitmaschine. Köln: Walther König, 1987.
Naumann, Francis and Obalk Hector, ed. Affectionately Marcel: The Selected Correspondence of Marcel Duchamp. Ghent: Ludion Press, 2000.
Perloff, Majorie et al. John Cage. Composed in America. Chicago: University Chicago Press, 1994.
Retallack, Joan, ed. Musicage – Cage muses on Words, Art, Music. John Cage in Conversation with Joan Retallack. Hanover/NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1996.
Revill, David. The Roaring Silence. John Cage: A Life. London: Bloomsbury, 1992.
Rodin, Auguste. Die Kunst. Gespräche des Meisters. Zürich: Diogenes, 1979.
Roth, Moira and Katz D. Jonathan. Difference/Indifference. Musings on Postmodernism, Marcel Duchamp and John Cage. Amsterdam: G + B Arts International, 1998.
Rotzler, Willi. Objektkunst. Von Duchamp bis zur Gegenwart. Köln: DuMont Buchverlag, 1981.
Ruhrberg, Karl. Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts. Malerei, Skulpturen und Objekt, Neue Medien, Fotografie. Köln: Benedikt Taschen Verlag, 2000.
Stauffer, Serge, Hrsg. Marcel Duchamp. Interviews und Statements. Stuttgart : Cantz, 1991.
Stauffer, Serge, Hrsg. Marcel Duchamp. Die Schriften. Zürich: Regenbogen-Verlag, 1981.
Stein, Gertrude. Everybody’s Autobiography. New York: Random House, 1964.
Stein, Gertrude. Was sind Meisterwerke? Zürich: Die Arche, 1962.
Tomkins, Calvin. Duchamp. A Biography. New York: Henry Holt, 1996.
Tomkins, Calvin. The Bride & the Bachelors. New York: Penguin/Viking, 1965.
Wellershoff, Dieter. Die Auflösung des Kunstbegriffs. Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 1981.
finally……Thanks…… for more inspiration to:
 Cage, Silence (Afternote to his “Lecture on Nothing“) 126.
 Tomkins 226.
 Fetz, Kunst in der Stadt 2 x.
 The bibliography contains some books I have not cited in the paper itself – it is a mixed collection of books that have been piling up in my shelves in the course of writing…most of whom were quite helpful