ragnar kjartansson: the visitors at hangarbicocca
 
ragnar kjartansson: the visitors at hangarbicocca ragnar kjartansson: the visitors at hangarbicocca
sep 20, 2013

ragnar kjartansson: the visitors at hangarbicocca

ragnar kjartansson: the visitors at hangarbicocca
ragnar kjartansson, the visitors, 2012, (stills)
nine channel HD video projection
duration: 64 minutes
photos: elisabet davids
sound: chris mcdonald
video: tómas örn tómasson
sammlung migros museum für gegenwartskunst and courtesy of the artist and luhring augustine, new york;
& i8 gallery, reykjavik

 

 

 

 

ragnar kjartansson: the visitors
hangarbicocca, milan
september 19th to november 17th, 2013

 

 

ragnar kjartansson presents a multi-faceted video work that explores notions of synchronicity and harmony, reflecting on the themes of power and persistence as being affective ties, in combination with the melancholy and romanticism typical of his nordic culture. across kjartansson’s practice, music plays a key roll, translating the sounds into visual art, or as he himself says ‘an almost sculptural element’.

 

‘the visitors’–whose title and conceptual backbone is derived from the last album of swedish group ABBA– engages the audience on a visual and auditory level, in which each of the musicians depicted in the nine 1:1 scale videos (including kjartansson’s personal friends kristín anna and gyða valtýsdóttir, founding sisters of the historic icelandic band mùm, and kjartan sveinsson, keyboard player until 2012 with the famous sigur rós) simultaneously deliver a more than one hour performance of the same melody of a song called ‘feminine ways’ on their respective instruments. the artist composed the piece himself for the poem entitled ‘feminine ways’ by his former wife, asdís sif gunnarsdóttir.

 

 


ragnar kjartansson, the visitors, 2012, (stills)
nine channel HD video projection
duration: 64 minutes
photos: elisabet davids
sound: chris mcdonald
video: tómas örn tómasson
sammlung migros museum für gegenwartskunst and courtesy of the artist and luhring augustine, new york;
& i8 gallery, reykjavik

 

 

 

 

the individual scenes were filmed in the various rooms of the dilapidated nineteenth-century rokeby farm in upstate new york, with the nine audio and video tracks having been made separately. however, ‘the visitors’ presents each staging together on large displays that have been specially conceived by the artist and curators ( andrea lissoni and heike munder, director of the migros museum für gegenwartskunst in zurich) in order to emphasize the principal sensory elements of ‘the visitors’. collectively, the individual musical soundtracks delivers a contrast of powerful and subdued tones, whereby the viewer finds themselves at the heart of an uninterrupted, choral piece. ‘the visitors’ is a continued exploration of kjartansson’s performance work that spans the entire spectrum of the arts–from theatre to music, through to sculpture and the visual arts–in which he hypnotically captures his spectators’s attention, unravelling the myths of contemporary culture, bordering the line between mysticism and parody.

 

 ‘the visitors’ is being shown in cooperation with migros museum für gegenwartskunst.

 

 

 


ragnar kjartansson, the visitors, 2012, (stills)
nine channel HD video projection
duration: 64 minutes
photos: elisabet davids
sound: chris mcdonald
video: tómas örn tómasson
sammlung migros museum für gegenwartskunst and courtesy of the artist and luhring augustine, new york;
& i8 gallery, reykjavik

 

 

 


ragnar kjartansson
the visitors, 2012
installation view hangarbicocca 2013
in collaboration with sammlung migros museum f¸r gegenwartskunst
photo agostino osio
courtesy fondazione hangarbicocca, milan

 

 

 


ragnar kjartansson
the visitors, 2012
installation view hangarbicocca 2013
in collaboration with sammlung migros museum f¸r gegenwartskunst
photo agostino osio
courtesy fondazione hangarbicocca, milan

 

 

 


ragnar kjartansson
the visitors, 2012
installation view hangarbicocca 2013
in collaboration with sammlung migros museum f¸r gegenwartskunst
photo agostino osio
courtesy fondazione hangarbicocca, milan

 

 

 


ragnar kjartansson
the visitors, 2012
installation view hangarbicocca 2013
in collaboration with sammlung migros museum f¸r gegenwartskunst
photo agostino osio
courtesy fondazione hangarbicocca, milan

 

 

 


ragnar kjartansson
the visitors, 2012
installation view hangarbicocca 2013
in collaboration with sammlung migros museum f¸r gegenwartskunst
photo agostino osio
courtesy fondazione hangarbicocca, milan

 

 

 


ragnar kjartansson
the visitors, 2012
installation view hangarbicocca 2013
in collaboration with sammlung migros museum f¸r gegenwartskunst
photo agostino osio
courtesy fondazione hangarbicocca, milan

 

 

 


ragnar kjartsson talks about his work on ‘the visitors’
video courtesy of hangarbicocca

 

 

ragnar kjartansson
ragnar kjartansson was born in 1976 in reykjavík where he continues to live and work.
he studied at the iceland academy of the arts in reykjavík and at the royal academy in stockholm.
he has participated in a number of exhibitions and festivals including ‘manifesta’ and ‘la triennale di torino; the carnegie museum of art in pittsburgh, the museum of contemporary art (north miami), ICA boston and the frankfurter kunstverein which presented his first retrospective in europe. in 2009 he became the youngest artist to represent iceland at the venice biennale, and was invited again to the 2013 edition of the international art exhibition, in which for the entire duration of the show, he puts on a captivating musical performance in the aquatic spaces of the arsenale.

 

 

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