Designed and Staged by Robert Del Naja and United Visual Artists in collaboration with Es Devlin
Co-commissioned by Park Avenue Armory, Manchester International Festival, and Ruhrtriennale International Festival of the Arts
September 28 Performance is Sold Out: Tickets Currently Available to Remaining Performances
New York, NY – August 29, 2013 – The U.S. premiere of Massive Attack V Adam Curtis will open at Park Avenue Armory September 28. The epic work, created by film maker Adam Curtis and Robert Del Naja, will run through October 4 and is a co-commission of Park Avenue Armory, Manchester International Festival, and Ruhrtriennale International Festival of the Arts.
Robert Del Naja from the legendary English band Massive Attack and the radical film maker Adam Curtis have worked together to create an epic experience unlike any other. Music and film are woven together with personal stories and the grand sweep of history to conjure up a rich and multilayered experience. Intense volume and giant multiple screens completely envelop the audience in a mesmerizing and overwhelming sensory extravaganza that also carries a powerful political argument.
The overall narrative of the show tells the history of the last 50 years in a totally original way. It describes the transition from a world inspired by an optimistic vision of the future to today’s fearful and risk averse, managed society.
In a vivid and emotional way the narrative shows how we have tried to build a bubble to protect us from all possible future dangers and keep us safe from harm. But it will also show how, in order to do this, we have turned back to the past, constantly mining its data, looking for patterns, to create a predictable and unthreatening future.
A future without accidents of chance and unforeseen consequences.
But this itself has had the unforeseen consequence of trapping us in a constant feedback loop of the past, where nothing genuinely new can ever be imagined. The dead sing on forever, the recorded images are replayed over and over again. And we are always being offered more of what we had yesterday – if you liked that then you will love this.
The very experience of the show leads the audience to see that we have created for ourselves a world that is haunted by the past – trapped in a sarcophagus of giant screens which continually replay our own past desires to us. A sarcophagus that keeps us safe – but prevents us from moving forward and changing the world for the better.
And at the heart of the grand narrative are a number of extraordinary individual stories – of those who found they could not live without the dream of a better future. In a world without hope.
Massive Attack V Adam Curtis is the creation of documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis and Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja, with the innovative art and design firm United Visual Artists and radical set designer Es Devlin. Joining Massive Attack for the live performance accompanying the film are singers Liz Fraser and Horace Andy. The music will include covers of popular music from the last three decades—from early Streisand to Siberian punk.
More information on Park Avenue Armory’s 2013 season is found at www.armoryonpark.org.
What the Critics Are Saying about Massive Attack V Adam Curtis:
“It’s one thing to watch the revelation of terrifying visions of global power structures on a TV in the corner of your living room. It’s another to have them projected all around you in a cavernous warehouse at a gig in which it is not always clear if pop music is part of the problem or part of the solution.” – The Guardian
“It is as if he is literally shaking us from our complacency. We all know the world is screwed up: now feel it in your stomachs.” – Financial Times
“Compelling…Curtis is most brilliant as a kind of 19th century novelist, dazzling and seducing us by weaving together the coincidences and collisions in history.” – Telegraph
MASSIVE ATTACK V ADAM CURTIS
Created by Adam Curtis and Robert Del Naja
Designed and Staged by Robert Del Naja and United Visual Artists in collaboration with Es Devlin
With thanks to Felix Barrett
Commissioned by Park Avenue Armory, Manchester International Festival, and Ruhrtriennale International Festival of the Arts. In partnership with the BBC.
Saturday, September 28 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 29 at 8:00 p.m.
Monday, September 30 at 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 2 at 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 3 at 8:00 p.m.
Friday, October 4 at 8:00 p.m.
$60, General Admission www.armoryonpark.org / 212-933-5812
Insights: Adam Curtis
Sunday, September 29 at 6:00 p.m.
Creator and filmmaker Adam Curtis explores the construction of media and news in today’s society.
Tickets: $10/$7 Armory members
This production is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by the British Council. Complementary public programs are presented in partnership with the British Council.
Many thanks also go to the Armory’s 2013 season sponsors, Citi and Bloomberg.
About Massive Attack
Massive Attack was formed in Bristol, UK in 1988 by Robert “3D” Del Naja and Grant “Daddy G” Marshall. Their classic 1991 debut Blue Lines established them as progenitors of a new musical genre: an unprecedented mixture of breakbeats, sampling and live instrumentation with vocal styles ranging from soulful female vocals to gritty rapping. Some of their most noted songs have utilized atmospheric dynamics conveyed by prominent looped/shifting bass lines, dramatic guitar crescendos and lavish orchestral arrangements, underpinned by high and exacting production techniques. Blue Lines single “Unfinished Sympathy” is a prime example, one that was eventually voted the 10th greatest song of all time in a Guardian poll. Massive Attack’s discography also includes 1994’s sophomore effort Protection, which made the top 10 of Rolling Stone’s “Coolest Albums of All Time,” 1998’s Mezzanine, containing “Teardrop” (known to millions as the theme music to the hit TV series House), and 2003’s 100th Window, both of which charted in the UK at number one, and most recently 2010’s acclaimed Heligoland. These five studio albums have sold over 11 million copies worldwide. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_Attack
About Adam Curtis
Adam Curtis is a documentary film maker and journalist who works for the BBC. He has made many series – including The Century of the Self, Pandora’s Box, The Mayfair Set, and The Power of Nightmares. He has also collaborated with Punchdrunk on a show for the Manchester International Festival – It Felt Like a Kiss. His films have won many awards – including 6 BAFTAs, and have been invited to and shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
About United Visual Artists
United Visual Artists create work at the intersection of sculpture, architecture, live performance, and digital installation. UVA’s initial work in live performance led to a sustained interest in spectacle, the relationship between passive spectation and active participation, and the use of responsive systems to create a sense of presence. As UVA’s work has broadened and evolved towards large-scale permanent works, it has become more influenced by complex systems found in nature, while retaining its desire to emotionally engage the viewer and create a sense of communion. UVA’s team members come from many disciplines. This cross-pollination of skills inspires new fields of exploration, which is core to their ethos. This approach to collaboration has resulted in a portfolio of commissions and exhibitions in the UK and further afield. UVA’s work has been exhibited at institutions including the V&A, the Royal Academy of Art, the South Bank Centre, the Wellcome Collection, Opera North Leeds, Durham Cathedral and The British Library. Their works have toured to cities including Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Melbourne, and Barcelona. UVA also has public art works on permanent display in London, Bristol, Toronto, and Istanbul.
About Park Avenue Armory
Part palace, part industrial shed, Park Avenue Armory fills a critical void in the cultural ecology of New York City by enabling artists to create—and audiences to experience—unconventional work that cannot be mounted in traditional performance halls and museums. With its soaring 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall and array of exuberant period rooms, the Armory offers a new platform for creativity across all art forms. The Armory has mounted major installations by Ernesto Neto, Ryoji Ikeda, Christian Boltanski, Tom Sachs, and Ann Hamilton; and dance performances by Shen Wei Dance Arts, Tricia Brown, and the final performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company across three separate stages. Music performances include Bernd Zimmermann’s harrowing Die Soldaten and Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Gruppen with the New York Philharmonic and performances of his electronic masterpiece OKTOPHONIE. Theater productions include a six-week residency of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2011, in their Stratford-upon-Avon home rebuilt to scale in the drill hall, and the upcoming production of Macbeth with Kenneth Branagh in June 2014.
About Manchester International Festival
Manchester International Festival is the world’s first festival of original new work and special events and takes place biennially, in Manchester, UK. The Festival launched in 2007 as an artist-led, commissioning festival presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture.
MIF leads the way for UK festivals in fundraising from private sponsors, having passed the £2 million mark for MIF13; this in addition to substantial public funding received from Manchester City Council, Salford City Council, and Arts Council England. Many sponsors are returning from previous festivals, including The Co-operative Group, PZ Cussons, Manchester Airports, NCP Manchester Ltd, DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester – Piccadilly and Bruntwood. The BBC, The Guardian, and Manchester Evening News are MIF’s media partners.
Manchester International Festival 2013 ran from Thursday July 4 – Sunday July 21, 2013. Learn more at www.mif.co.uk
About Ruhrtriennale International Festival of the Arts
The Ruhrtriennale is the international arts festival hosted by the Ruhr metropolitan area. The venues of the Ruhrtriennale are the region’s outstanding industrial monuments, transformed each year into spectacular sites for music, fine art, theater, dance, and performance. At the center of all this are contemporary artists seeking a dialog with industrial spaces and between the disciplines. More information can be found at www.ruhrtriennale.de/en
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