Deep Time at Fruitmarket

Deep Time, Fruitmarket’s festival of new music, returns to the Warehouse for the second year celebrating artists from the Fruitmarket’s archive ­– Jean-Michel Basquiat and John Cage.

This year the festival which runs from 27.11.24–30.11.24 is curated by vocalist, movement artist and composer Elaine Mitchener. As Deep Time coincides with Fruitmarket’s 50th anniversary, Mitchener will be delving into the archive and focusing in on 1984 when Fruitmarket’s galleries showed concurrent exhibitions of two New York artists whose work blended visual art with sound and music: Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–88) and John Cage (1912–92).

Deep Time uses this prompt to look back to look forward, with new commissions, performances, installations, talks, curated playlists and post-performance discourse by some of today’s most radical and experimental artists, composers, musicians and improvisors. They are brought together by Mitchener through an imagined conversation between Basquiat and Cage that considers their shared interests and their differences, and envisages the meeting of these two artists in Fruitmarket as a cultural intervention that reshaped and reimagined future possibilities.

‘I was inspired by John Cage at the time – music that isn’t really music. We were trying to be incomplete, abrasive, oddly beautiful’
Jean-Michel Basquiat

‘The right to be myself, as long as I live! As if I were a sound.’
John Cage

Full programme will be released in September 2024.

Deep Time: Basquiat & Cage 8424

Curator of Deep Time Elaine Mitchener said:
I am excited and honoured to have the opportunity of working with Fruitmarket to curate the second edition of its festival, Deep Time, which also marks and celebrates the gallery’s 50th year as a space of artistic originality, daring and creativity. In 1984, against the odds, it provided the perfect place to show the work of artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and John Cage – a significant pairing of two very different but completely original artists, whose works continue to challenge and inspire in equal measure. Deep Time: Basquiat & Cage 8424 draws inspiration from the period and has invited artists to not only look back in reflection but to look forward with renewed energies in these unsettling times:

‘I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life.’
Jean-Michel Basquiat

‘Our business in living is to become fluent with the life we are living, and art can help this.’
John Cage

Fiona Bradley, Director of Fruitmarket said:

For our 50th birthday, we are delighted to bring back Deep Time for its second iteration. This year we have been exploring the rich history of Fruitmarket and what better way than to celebrate a moment when two important New York artists whose work crossed genres of art and music, Jean-Michel Basquiat and John Cage, met in Fruitmarket’s space. We are so excited that Elaine Mitchener will be curating the Festival to bring her ideas and perspective as an artist, composer and performer to the work of Basquiat and Cage, and to consider that moment and its artistic legacy, while also introducing Fruitmarket to her creative world.

30 March 2024

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