A second chance to watch Ragnar Kjartansson’s performance of Variation on Meat Joy captured live Thursday, 24 October, 2013 at Tate Modern

Ragnar Kjartansson combines the corporeal with the theatrical in his new online performance work, Variation on Meat Joy which draws inspiration from Carolee Schneemann’s ground-breaking performance Meat Joy 1964.

The artist has transformed the Performance Room into a Rococo dining room, with lavishly dressed actors seated at small round tables, each one eating a steak. Filmed in cinematic style, the period setting and 18th-century costumes play with the modernity of an internet performance. Microphones are positioned in the set to amplify the sounds of each performer eating so the audience can hear the sounds of chewing and swallowing, which draws focus to the normally neatly veiled animalistic nature of the everyday act of eating.

Ragnar Kjartansson (born 1976) draws on the history of film, music, visual culture and literature in his work, which includes video installations, durational performances, drawing and painting. He lives and works in Reykjavík, Iceland and exhibits widely around Europe and the US. He represented Iceland at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, and in 2013 his work was featured in the Biennale’s Arsenale exhibition The Encyclopedic Palace.

Ragnar Kjartansson Variation on Meat Joy 2013, colour drawing of people at function dining
Ragnar Kjartansson
Variation on Meat Joy 2013


Enter the online BMW Tate Live Performance Room via www.youtube.com/user/tate/tatelive at 20:00 in the UK and exactly the same moment across time zones on the specified dates:
15.00 on the East Coast of America
21.00 in mainland Europe
23.00 in Russia.

Live Q&A

During the performance you are encouraged to chat with other viewers from around the world via Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and to ask the artist or curator questions which will be answered at the end of the performance during the live Q&A. You can access the latest updates @TateLive using #BMWTateLive,Tate Facebook or Tate Google+.


Variation on Meat Joy performed by
Ragnar Kjartansson
Lilja Gunnarsdóttir
Ingibjörg Sigurjónsdóttir
Jacob Blandy
Adam Christensen
Jemima Dooley
Ben Gatehouse
Frances Moore
Andrew Roy
Simon Wallace

BMW Tate Live is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator, Contemporary Art and Performance, Tate and Capucine Perrot, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.

BMW Tate Live is a partnership between BMW and Tate, which focuses on performance, interdisciplinary art and curating digital space.