Park Avenue Armory will close its 2022 season with the North American premiere of a new commission from German artist and filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt.
Returning to the Armory following the 2016 presentation of his critically acclaimed Manifesto film installation, Rosefeldt will take over the 55,000 square foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall with Euphoria, a visually and aurally resplendent multi-channel film installation that considers the destructive potential of capital, greed and consumption.
On view November 29, 2022 through January 8, 2023, Euphoria features original music by Samy Moussa and additional music by Cassie Kinoshi, performed on film by 140 singers from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and five acclaimed jazz drummers : Terri, Grammy Award winner Lyne Carrington, Peter Erskine, Grammy Award winner, Yissy García, Eric Harland and Antonio Sanchez. Debuting at The Armory, Euphoria is co-commissioned by Holland Festival, Ruhrtriennale Festival of the Arts, RISING Melbourne and Sydney Festival in association with Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte.
“Following the success of Manifesto, which has been so well received by audiences in the Armory and around the world, we are delighted to be working with Julian to bring his latest project to Drill Hall,” said Rebecca Robertson, Founding President and executive of the Armory. Producer. “Euphoria reflects The Armory’s continued commitment to providing artists with the creative and physical space to push the boundaries of their practice and provide relevant and thought-provoking interrogations on current issues.”
“Euphoria represents a defining moment in Julian’s illustrious career, as he explores longstanding motifs central to his practice, including the use of text fragments, and applies his intellectual meditations on capitalism and economic theory to this project,” said Pierre Audi of Armory’s. Marina Kellen French Artistic Director. “The resulting installation is an artistic achievement that serves as a critique of our consumer society, a reflection on greed and its centrality to human nature, and a moment to reflect on how the creation of wealth has supplanted the humanity’s most precious creation – art.”
Euphoria offers an absurd reflection on the history of human greed, the consequences of mass consumption, the dangers of uncontrolled economic growth and the interweaving of capitalism and other current sociopolitical issues such as feminism and post-colonialism. The work will be presented in an immersive arena-like setting in the Armory’s drill hall, where the public can move freely amidst a circle of large-scale video screens. The central film, shot on location in various cities around the world – including a pre-war Kyiv – depicts imaginary discussions of greed and scenes of euphoric production and consumption – among them a bank hall that fills with surreal magic tricks, dance routines and acrobatics; five homeless people pondering economic theory; and a singing tiger in a supermarket, voiced by Oscar winner Cate Blanchett. These scenes are scripted with cropped quotes from economists, business moguls, writers, philosophers, celebrities and other notable historical and contemporary figures – from Sophocles, Warren Buffett, Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman to Audre Lorde , John Steinbeck, Donna Haraway and Snoop Dogg create unexpected juxtapositions of language and context that bring new meaning, relevance and impact to words. Accompanying musical elements will be projected simultaneously onto a ring of surrounding screens, with life-size projected Brooklyn Youth Chorus singers functioning almost like the commentating chorus of classical Greek theater as they echo snippets of text from the dialogues and monologues. in the main movie. A group of five of America’s most acclaimed jazz drummers perform a rhythmic score mimicking the constant hum of the machinery of capitalism.
“Euphoria is the result of my lifelong interest in texts of economic theory and provides a space for dialogue and reflection as we witness society’s euphoric and limitless consumer frenzy,” said Julian Rosefeldt. “As the rarely questioned motto of continuous economic growth unfolds globally and without limit, my work addresses the lack of an alternative. The alluring aspect of capitalism concerns us all, because as individuals we do all part of the system, which extends far beyond economics, creating imbalances and inequalities in the social and political issues of our time.”
Tickets start at $18 plus fees and can be purchased at armoryonpark.org or by phone through the Armory box office at (212) 933-5812, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.