This exhibition will be the artist’s first New York museum presentation.
Ragnar Kjartansson, Me and My Mother 2010, 2010. HD Video; 19:59 min. Courtesy the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik
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This exhibition will be the first New York museum presentation of Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976 Reykjavík, Iceland; lives and works in Reykjavík). Born into a family of actors and theater professionals, Kjartansson draws from a varied history of stage traditions, film, music, and literature. His durational performances and video installations explore the boundary between reality and fiction and ideas of myth, cultural history, and identity. For Kjartansson, “In Iceland, there is a one thousand year history, and no proof that it existed, but there are all of these stories—the poetry, the sagas, and my performance works exist mostly as stories.” At the New Museum, Kjartansson will produce a newly orchestrated performance and video piece for the Fourth Floor gallery entitled Take Me Here by the Dishwasher – Memorial for a Marriage, in which ten musicians continuously play a live soundtrack for the duration of the exhibition.
Ragnar Kjartansson was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1976, where he continues to live and work. His recent solo exhibitions and performances include “The Palace of the Summerland” at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna (2014), “The Explosive Sonics of Divinity” at the Volksbühne, Berlin (2014), “The Visitors” at Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, and Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (2012–13), “It’s Not the End of the World” at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2012–13), “Endless Longing, Eternal Return” at the Frankfurter Kunstverein (2011), and “Take Me Here By the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage” at the BAWAG Foundation, Vienna (2011). His first American solo museum exhibition, “Song,” was organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art in 2011 and traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Additionally, Kjartansson recently participated in “The Encyclopedic Palace” at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013) and “Expo 1” at MoMA P.S.1 (2013). Kjartansson was the recipient of Performa’s 2011 Malcolm McLaren Award for his performance of Bliss, a twelve-hour live loop of the final aria of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, and in 2009, he was the youngest artist to represent Iceland at the Venice Biennale.