But Rountree didn’t for one second take a phrase for granted, and those in the pit or in the orchestra never looked as though they wanted to be doing anything else.

Ragnar Kjartansson’s Bliss asks us to ask for forgiveness for hours. The piece is a feat, that challenges singers and instrumentalists to focus on supporting one another, and then give that focus to an audience all together, for the herculean duration of 12 hours — performing the three minutes of Contessa perdono from Mozart’s Le Nozze on repeat, over and over again. Ragnar is a descendant of Fluxus. His work stresses genre past a breaking point, creating a space that seems itself to call out simply for all those in attendance to tell the story of the work, and in so doing continue that work out into the world. Bliss pushes against the power dynamic inherent in performance, putting performers in the position to search for enlightenment through their own impending failure. It asks us brilliantly to find within ourselves a reason to go on, and then to share that reason, for hours on end, without stating it.


  • 05.25.2019 Ragnar Kjartansson’s BLISS
    REDCAT Los Angeles, CA More Info