The YBA artist Gavin Turk has designed the set for a new opera by The Opera Erratica company. It is currently being performed in London. TRIPTYCH combines contemporary music, avant-garde performance, visual art and fashion. Uniting an international trio of young composers with Opera Erratica’s unique ensemble company. The production features design by the internationally respected artist Gavin Turk in his first ever stage commission. Inspired by the structure of Puccini’s Il trittico, TRIPTYCH is made up of three short operas: a comedy, a tragedy and a piece about nuns.
The work is performed by five singers accompanied by video and electronic music, each piece proposes a radically different direction for a new intimate, ensemble opera. The first act titled, REUNION with music by Christian Mason tells the tale of a young nun’s past, present and future are superimposed in the moment of her investiture ceremony, stripping back the events that lead to this life-changing transformation. Act two, ‘A PARTY’ with music by Thomas Smetryns is a comedy of manners patched together from vinyl recordings of 1950s English language lessons, this plunderphonic fantasy conjures up an absurdist cocktail party that gradually descends into mayhem. Act three ‘The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered’ with music by Christopher Mayo is a through a mosaic of tessellating narratives, the events surrounding the mysterious disappearance of an architectural photographer are reconstructed.
Gavin Turk (b 1967) is a British born, international artist. He has pioneered many forms of contemporary British sculpture now taken for granted, including the painted bronze, the waxwork, the recycled art-historical icon and the use of rubbish in art.
Turk’s installations and sculptures deal with issues of authorship, authenticity and identity. Concerned with the ‘myth’ of the artist and the ‘authorship’ of a work, Turk’s engagement with this modernist, avant-garde debate stretches back to the ready-mades of Marcel Duchamp.
In 1991, the Royal College of Art refused Turk a degree on the basis that his final show, ‘Cave’, consisted of a whitewashed studio space containing only a blue heritage plaque commemorating his presence ‘Gavin Turk worked here 1989-91′. Instantly gaining notoriety through this installation, Turk was spotted by Charles Saatchi and has since been exhibited by many major galleries and museums throughout the world. Turk has recently been commissioned to make several public sculptures including Nail, a 12-meter sculpture at One New Change, next to St Paul’s cathedral, London, England. In spring 2013 Turk’s eponymous monograph was published by Prestel. Assembled under the artist’s direction and with essays by Iain Sinclair and Judith Collins this major new book showcases more than two decades of his work.
Triptych is being performed at The Print Room in London until June 7