Life of a Craphead

Sounds of Venice (with Geoffrey Farmer, John Cage)

Life of a Craphead were invited by Geoffrey Farmer to perform John Cage’s composition “Sounds of Venice” (1959) at Art Toronto in October 2016, to launch the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2017, presented by the National Gallery of Canada. We replaced instruments listed in John Cage’s original score with substitutes more appropriate to the context of the art fair:
  • Instead of a venetian Broom we used a Dyson v6 vacuum. Instead of a bird cage with birds, we had Jon’s pet bearded dragon in an aquarium on pink sand. We replaced the slide whistle with Geoffrey’s copy of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Venice.
  • We replaced the sound of “squeak on marble” with the sound of vandalizing the painting “Self Portrait with Combat Nymphos of Saigon” by Chris Cran, which, right before the performance, was exhibiting at the National Gallery of Canada. The painting presents a sexualized parody of Vietnamese women (with the “impotent” white artist as an onlooker), mocking the fact that many Vietnamese women experienced sexual violence enacted by white men during the Vietnam War.
  • We replaced the grand piano with a bass guitar, the horn with a fire alarm, and the tapes with a laptop playing 3 Youtube videos at once, including a tutorial on how to use Logic Pro X and the sound of paper money.
    The performance was preceded by appearances by Amy and Jon as different characters, including Art Toronto staff; curator of the Canadian Pavilion, Kitty Scott; and the artist Geoffrey Farmer.

    CRAPHEADS-1719 CRAPHEADS-1696 CRAPHEADS-1703 CRAPHEADS-1712 CRAPHEADS-1764 CRAPHEADS-1767 CRAPHEADS-1775 CRAPHEADS-1776 CRAPHEADS-1799 CRAPHEADS-1838 CRAPHEADS-1861 CRAPHEADS-1882 CRAPHEADS-1892 CRAPHEADS-1897 CRAPHEADS-1898 CRAPHEADS-1961 Photos by Yuula Benivolski. With production assistance from Matt Smith, Damian Lebiedzinski, Inez Genereux, Laura McCoy, Cotey Pope, Nikki Woolsey, and Seth Scriver.

  • 2 comics


    Sounds of Venice (with Geoffrey Farmer, John Cage)


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    2 comics


    Sounds of Venice (with Geoffrey Farmer, John Cage)


    Fifty-Year Retrospective, 2006-2056


    Model for Waterfront Development


    Double Double Land Land


    Free Lunch


    Transporting Life of a Craphead


    Musical Road