The debut of Ragnar Kjartansson’s new video work, Bliss (2020) is showing at Luhring Augustine.
January 21 – February 13, 2021
25 Knickerbocker Avenue, Bushwick, NY 11237
The twelve-hour video documents Kjartansson’s celebrated durational performance of the same name, a staging of the final chapter of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (1786). Presented on a traditional opera set and accompanied by a full orchestra, a cast of singers dressed in rococo costumes performs the three-minute aria on repeat for twelve hours straight. The emotionally complicated repeated recital of violence, remorse, forgiveness, entitlement, love, and celebration transforms the performance into a soothing mantra, and shamanistic experience. This video was filmed at REDCAT, Los Angeles in May 2019, where the work was performed as part of LA Phil’s Fluxus Festival curated by Christopher Rountree. Bliss was originally commissioned by Performa 11 in New York in 2011.
Over the course of the exhibition, in a succession of three-week-long installations, seven Luhring Augustine artists will be paired with the front façade of a 19th century Indian pleasure pavilion. Inviting conversations ranging from concept and intent, form and function, to many others, the juxtapositions will simultaneously illuminate the contemporary aspects of the pavilion and the timeless interests of the contemporary artists.