At a packed party at the Bowery Hotel this evening, Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson received Performa’s inaugural Malcolm Award, for his 12-hour operatic masterwork Bliss, which we saw this past weekend. (Earlier today, we admitted that we hoped he would win.)
Lou Reed—The Man Himself—presented the award to the artist, stumbling a bit over his tricky last name as he offered the prize “on behalf of Malcolm.” (The award is to become a fixture of each Performa, presented to the artist aged 40 or under who presents “the most innovative and thought provoking performance during the biennial.”)
“This is really a beautiful award. This was really unnecessary,” Mr. Kjartansson said, holding the sleek trophy, which was designed by Marc Newson. “I’m happy to accept this award on behalf of Malcolm McClaren. When I was a teenager, all my friends were listening to Guns N’ Roses.”
The 2011 edition of Performa biennial is over. Or it almost is. The closing party—the Grand Finale, as its organizers have styled it—runs until 2 a.m.