A Performa Commission
For Performa 11, artist Ragnar Kjartansson presents a a twelve-hour long performance, entitled Bliss, that will repeat the delirious final aria of Mozart’s 1786 opera The Marriage of Figaro. In the final act of this opera, the Count asks the Countess' forgiveness for his arrogant blunders, which she grants, inspiring the entire court to celebrate. Kjartansson’s performance will replicate the lavishness of traditional opera with a full orchestra, elaborate scenery, and period costumes, and will feature renowned Icelandic tenor Kristján Jóhannsson and members of his master class, as well as the artist himself, continuously replaying the two-minute musical, visual, and narrative pinnacle of the opera, approaching a euphoric state for performers and listeners alike.
Performa 11, the fourth edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance presented by Performa, will be held in New York City from November 1–21, 2011. The three-week biennial will showcase new work by more than 100 of the most exciting artists working today, in an innovative program breaking down the boundaries between visual art, music, dance, poetry, fashion, architecture, graphic design, and the culinary arts. Presented in collaboration with a consortium of more than 50 arts institutions and over 50 curators, as well as a network of public spaces and private venues across the city, Performa 11 will ignite New York City with energy and ideas, acting as a vital “think tank” linking minds across the five boroughs and bringing audiences together for brilliant new performances in all disciplines.
Founded by RoseLee Goldberg in 2004, Performa is the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Performa launched New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, followed by Performa 07 (2007), and Performa 09 (2009).