Curated by David Bussel

Friday 17 September 2004

The World Question Centre (1969), DVD, b/w, sound, 1:02 min

The World Question Centre is film by Jef Cornelis that documents a live performance made by the late American artist James Lee Byars (1932-1997), known as the ‘magician of silence’ for his Zen Buddhist-inspired installations and performances that sought to harness the transitory, ephemeral elements of life. Shot in a Brussels television studio, the film involves Byars, surrounded by a group of men and women dressed in long, white gowns, asking 100 famous people – either present in the studio or by telephone – to pose the most important question about life. Those questioned include a heart surgeon, a sexologist, Joseph Beuys, John Cage, Marcel Broodthaers and Viva, the Warhol Superstar.

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