CURA.

RAGNAR KJARTANSSON
The Visitors

 

ICA Boston

Feb 13 – July 28, 2019 

 

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A sentimental portrayal of friendship, love, and loss and one of the best-loved works in the ICA’s permanent collection, Ragnar Kjartansson’s (b. 1976, Reykjavik, Iceland) masterwork The Visitors (2012) is a monumental nine-channel sound and moving-image installation of a performance staged at Rokeby Farm, a historic 43-room estate in upstate New York.

Each of the individual audio/video channels features musicians—including Kristín Anna and Gyða Valtýsdóttir, founding sisters of the Icelandic band Mùm; Kjartan Sveinsson, former member of Sigur Rós; and Davíð Þór Jónsson, Kjartansson’s longtime collaborator and co-composer of the musical arrangement—playing instruments either alone or in groups, separately but simultaneously, occupying different rooms of the romantically dilapidated estate.

The lyrics are taken from the poem “Feminine Ways,” written by Kjartansson’s former wife and fellow artist Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir. The title alludes to the 1981 album of the same name from Swedish pop band ABBA, the group’s last record to date, as divorce and internal strife ended their professional and personal relationships. The musical composition coheres in the work’s installation, presenting a dynamic and moving ensemble performance Kjartansson refers to as a “feminine nihilistic gospel song.”

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CREDITS
Courtesy the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik.

 

OTHER TIPS
Here, in the building where Georges Bizet wrote his masterpiece Carmen in 1875, Matt Copson premieres a bildungsroman opera in three laser-projected parts: Age of Coming, Coming of Age and Of Coming Age. His opera tells the story of a baby at odds with a vengeful god, who tries to convince him that life is miserable and cruel, and nothing more. On view High Art, Paris
Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand
Der Tank of the Art Institute, Basel
Lafayette Anticipations, Paris
Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon
JTT, New York
Édouard Montassut, Paris
Avant-Garde Institute, Warsaw