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Nothing: Chamber Landscapes pictures

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Nothing: Chamber Landscapes description

“The most trouble Richard Tognetti ever got into was for doing nothing.” The Guardian 

In 2010, during my time as Artistic Director of Slovenia’s Maribor Festival, plans to mount a lavish production of The Magic Flute were thwarted by financial issues. I had a mere three days to come up with an alternative. I called the administration with a proposal: “I know what to do… Nothing.” 

I suggested that entry would cost nothing, but that patrons would have to pay to leave. The program would include John Cage’s 4’33 of ostensible Nothing, and a singer wearing Nothing. 

In one work, videographer Jon Frank went to a hospice in India to film individuals on the threshold of dying. The results were chilling and elicited strong reactions from the audience. While it couldn’t be considered a success, it’s the thing people remember most from my days at Maribor: “the year you did Nothing”. 

Now, I am embracing the prospect of delivering Nothing once again with my program for Chamber Landscapes at UKARIA – this time not because of financial issues but rather with joyful, planned intent. 

The concept of nothingness has intrigued humanity for centuries. At its simplest level, Nothing refers to the lack of Anything or the non-existence or absence of Something. But its meaning goes far beyond absence.  

Philosophers have argued that nothingness is a fundamental aspect of human existence and experience, while scientists have found quantum fluctuations in empty spaces that have led some to suggest there is no such thing as true nothingness. In everyday life, the concept of nothingness can liberate by allowing us to let go of attachments, or paralyse through fear of the unknown. 

Whether viewed as a fundamental aspect of reality or a mere absence, nothingness remains an intriguing concept that continues to challenge our understanding of the world and ourselves. 

No matter how hard we try to present you with Nothing, we cannot succeed. But try we shall. 

Richard Tognetti AO, Curator 


FRI 8 Mar 

7:30pm Aspects of Nothing >>



11:30am Après moi, le déluge >>

2:00pm Nothing will come of Nothing >>

5:00pm Gazing into Nothing >>

7:30pm Nothing on the Program: a sunset experience in the UKARIA garden >>



12:30pm Something I Can Never Have >>

3:30pm Thanks for Nothing >>

5:45pm Talking about Nothing: Chamber Landscapes Talk (free)

In conversation with Tom Wright, Professor Craig Jeffrey reflects on his lifelong pursuit of Nothing in this free talk from 5:45 - 6:30pm. No registrations or bookings required.

7:00pm Disappearing into Nothing >>


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