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The Age of Happiness

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HD video │ 15ʼ22” │ sound │ color │ 2009

“There will not be a single spectator. All will be participants. The work requires special people, special artists and a completely new culture. The cast of performers includes an orchestra, a large mixed choir, an instrument with visual effects, dancers, a procession, incense, and rhythmic textural articulation. The cathedral in which it will take place will not be of one single type of stone but will continually change with the atmosphere and motion of the Mysterium. This will be done with the aid of mists and lights, which will modify the architectural contours.”
Alexandar Scriabin 1902

A strong component of The Age of Happiness is my research into Russian composer Alexander Scriabinʼs incomplete work Mysterium. Scarabinʼs unrealized durational performance was to be located in the Himalayas, and his intentions were that “there will be no spectators, all will become participants”.

One of the proposed effects of this piece was to transform participants into higher human beings. Through the realization of The Age of Happiness, narrative highlights the failed utopian vision as comparable to the flat perspective of todayʼs society. In “the age of happiness” the sense of vision is taken away from protagonists and the world they inhabit has to be described with the only sense left, sense of hearing.

Finally, acoustic illusions burst and culminate taking shape of the fantastic device which at the end of “everything” consumes the protagonists, image and light and thus leaving nothing in the screen except crystalline sound of Mozartʼs composition for Glass Harmonica dedicated to Franz Mesmer.