In Pursuit of Happiness

2007

at the LIVE Performance Art Biennale
Vancouver Art Gallery, FUSE event
October 26, noon to midnight
performed with Alissa Firth-Eagland

With signature delightful theatricality, one of Canada’s most renowned performance artists, Tanya Mars is joined by Alissa Firth-Eagland to present In Pursuit of Happiness, a continuous twelve-hour performance based on a tableau vivant fro Mars’ epic 2004 work The Tyranny of Bliss. A provocative meditation on excess and consumption in life, In Pursuit of Happiness constructs a modern day social satire looking at the human condition from both utopic and dystopic perspectives. Two women in lavish dress hold court at a table set for an opulent party complete with cake so decadent as to incite debauchery. A picture-perfect representation of the haves and the have nots. Inspired by the medieval fresco of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Allegory of the Effects of Good and Bad Government on the City Life, Federico Fellini’s Satyricon, Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and medieval Miracle plays, Mars presents a single spectacular tableau vivant characterized as visually rich layers of spectacular, satirical feminist imagery.

Carousel