Rolywholyover, installation view of “Circus,” LA MoCA, 1993
“Rolywholyover A Circus” for Museum by John Cage, 1993
by Sandra Skurvida
from THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #1 – in Mousse #42
Prior to Rolywholyover, Cage experimented with the museum as medium in several smaller exhibitions, including a room-size sound and light environment Writing Through the Essay, ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience’ (1985/91), commissioned for documenta 8, Kassel (1987), which involved periodically changing display elements. This changing display was further developed with the addition of works by invited artists in Changing Installation at the Mattress factory for the Carnegie International, Philadelphia (1991). And the exhibition Kunst als Grenzbeschreitung: John Cage und die Moderne at the Neue Pinakothek Munich (1991) introduced objects borrowed from other museums in the region and displayed them ahistorically according to chance operations. Rolywholyover comprised these previously tested modes of chance-generated composition in the four “movements” of the composition:  “Museumcircle,” comprised of decontextualized objects loaned by local museums; “Circus,” a changing display of works by artists of the Cage circle; “Cage Gallery,” dedicated to his visual art works; and “Media space,” dedicated to media and performance works.