About performance

Change Performing Arts (Italy) / Robert Wilson (The USA)

Age suitability: 18+
Duration: 70 min
Venue: Theatre of Nations
Address: Petrovsky, 3

Premiered on August 22, 2012 at the Ruhrtriennale Festival, Jahrhunderthalle, Bochum, Germany
Performed in English.
As a homage to revolutionary composer John Cage, Robert Wilson performs Cage's Lecture on Nothing, one of the central texts of twentieth-century experimental literature. The production has been described as being an "acoustically and visually inspiring approach to the philosophical and poetic text" which Cage based on a complex time length scheme similar to some of his music.
“Cage’s text is charming, often amusing, often quotable, equally often intentionally infuriating and profoundly thought provoking. The composer was in a period of transition, moving away from somewhat traditional composition to the making of music that incorporated chance elements and that treated silence with devout respect. [...]
Wilson makes exceptionally beautiful things. His stage props belong in museums. Yet his theater is non-narrative, only understood by experiencing it, living it.
’All I know about method,’ Cage writes at the end of ‘Lecture on Nothing,’ ‘is that when I am not working I sometimes think I know something, but when I am working, it is quite clear that I know nothing.’ Others might call that enlightenment. Wilson, sublimely, showed why.”
— Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2013



  • Text by John Cage
  • Created, directed and performed by Robert Wilson
  • Co-directors — Tilman Hecker, Ann-Christin Rommen
  • Man with eyeglass — Tilman Hecker
  • Dramaturgy — Stephan Buchberger
  • Make up — Manu Halligan
  • Music by Arno Kraehahn
  • Video by Tomek Jeziorski
  • Technical director — Reinhard Bichsel
  • Light board operator — Aliberto Sagretti
  • Stage & props — Monica Danielsson
  • Production manager — Virginia Forlani
  • Director’s assistant — Fernando de Testa
  • Executive producer — Change Performing Arts
  • Originally commissioned and produced by RuhrTriennale