RAGNAR KJARTANSSON: THE END

Ragnar Kjartansson is known for his spectacular, music-filled performative live installations and video work. The history of film, music, theatre, visual culture, and literature finds its way into his durational performances, video installations, drawing, and painting. The End has been organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and is curated by MOCAD Executive Director Elysia Borowy-Reeder and MOCAD Senior Curator at Large Jens Hoffmann.

EXHIBITIONS


RAGNAR KJARTANSSON: THE END

FEBRUARY 6 – MARCH 29, 2015

Ragnar Kjartansson is known for his spectacular, music-filled performative live installations and video work. The history of film, music, theatre, visual culture, and literature finds its way into his durational performances, video installations, drawing, and painting. In 2009 Kjartansson traveled to the Rocky Mountains in search of the epic. Filmed in Banff, Alberta, The End is a five-channel video installation synched together as a single, disfigured country music arrangement in the chord of G. Produced with the support of The Banff Centre for the Icelandic Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, the piece was developed by Kjartansson in collaboration with Icelandic musician Davíð Þór Jónsson at The Banff Centre in February 2009.

Kjartansson and Þór Jónsson filmed and recorded the song’s instrumental parts in five idyllic and sublime sites around Banff in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit. The resulting projections were arranged to echo one another, with Kjartansson and Þór Jónsson performing multiple parts of the same song. Using the Rocky Mountains as a stage set to perform the historically romanticized role of the artist in the landscape, Kjartansson questions the cultural narratives that mediate our experiences of nature. All the while the work’s melancholic beauty and intoxicating soundtrack prove overwhelmingly romantic, eliciting a curiosity in the contemporary abyss.

Kjartansson studied at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. He was born in 1976 in Reykjavík, where he still lives and works today.

MOCAD presents The End as the beginning of a partnership with Ragnar Kjartansson. In February of 2016 MOCAD will present a newly commissioned work. This exhibition has been organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and is curated by MOCAD Executive Director Elysia Borowy-Reeder and MOCAD Senior Curator at Large Jens Hoffmann.

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Ragnar Kjartansson

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