Ragnar Kjartansson BMW Tate Live Performance Room:
BMW Tate Live Performance Room:
Ragnar Kjartansson: Variation on Meat Joy
Online at youtube.com/user/tate/tatelive on 24 October 2013 at 20:00 GMT
tate.org.uk/bmwtatelive • facebook.com/tategallery • @tate #BMWTateLive • Tate Google+
Armed with theatrical elements and a lot of steak, Ragnar Kjartansson enters the uncertain overlapping space between pretence and reality in his new online work, Variation on Meat Joy, performed on October 24th in the Performance Room. BMW Tate Live Performance Room is a pioneering strand of live, online performances simultaneously seen by international audiences across world time zones.
Ragnar Kjartansson will set the Performance Room with the sensual superficiality of a rococo dining room and point the cameras to lavishly rococo costumed people, engaged in the private act of eating steak in silence. Mics amplify the subtle and awkward uttered sounds of chewing and swollowing, usually hidden with good manners in order not to draw focus to the neatly veiled beastiality of living. Flesh eats flesh. With the simple transformation of wearing a costume in a set a sense of staging and pretending goes into this everyday act, even though it is “for real”.
The performance draws inspiration from Carolee Schneeman’s early performance Meat Joy, from the joy of doing something ritual together about flesh and meat. While Schneeman’s Meat Joy freely engages with flesh directly on flesh, Kjartansson’s Variation on Meat Joy has a different texture. His operatic pretence curtains the encounter of flesh with flesh, which here is only internal, with the surface of the living flesh sheltered from the meat with costumes, silence and silverwear – but how carnal we get when we attempt to hide the flesh.
Ragnar Kjartasnsson (b. 1976) draws on the entire arc of art in his performative practice. The history of film, music, visual culture and literature finds its way into his video installations, durational performances, drawing and painting. He employs an existential sensibility akin to that of Gilbert and George, Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett. Pretending and staging become key tools in the artist’s attempt to convey sincere emotion and offer a genuine experience to the audience. Repetition and ritual feature prominently in his performances, which have a structure that has been characterized as ´live loop´, in which the same thing happens over and over again. Song 2011, for example, performed at Carnegie Museum, Pittsburg, saw three blonde Icelandic girls on a blue bed singing the same lines of poetry on repeat throughout the day.
Everyone is invited to enter the online BMW Tate Live Performance Room via www.youtube.com/user/tate/tatelive on 24 October 2013 at 20.00 hrs in the UK and exactly the same moment across time zones: 15.00 hrs on the East Coast of America, 21.00 hrs in mainland Europe and 23.00 hrs in Russia. The global online audience are encouraged to chat with other viewers via social media channels during the performance and to put questions to the artist and curator during a live Q&A using @TateLive, #BMWTateLive, Tate Facebook or Tate Google+.
BMW Tate Live is a four-year partnership between BMW and Tate, which focuses on performance, interdisciplinary art and curating digital space. Now in its second year, new commissions for 2013 include those online for BMW Tate Live: Performance Room and live performances at Tate Modern for BMW Tate Live: Performance Events. BMW Tate Live is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator, Contemporary Art and Performance, Tate and Capucine Perrot, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.
During the performance you are encouraged to chat with other viewers from around the world via Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and to ask the artist or curator questions which will be answered at the end of the performance during the live Q&A. You can access the latest updates