Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad | artmuseum.is

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03.06.2017
24.09.2017

Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad

  • Ragnar Kjartansson World Light – The Life and Death of an Artist, 2015 Four channel video, total duration 20 hours, 45 minutes, 22 seconds Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna

After a successful series of international appearances in recent years, including major survey exhibitions on both sides of the Atlantic, Ragnar Kjartansson opens his first museum show in his homeland, Iceland. One might not expect such a title as God, I Feel So Bad at this point in the artist’s career. However, Kjartansson speaks for himself and the audience, as he acknowledges art’s ever persuasive allure. This is manifested in the opening work in the first of three durational performances. To Music, 2012, is based on Schober’s romantic poetry that suggests art may transport us all into a better world “when life's mad tumult wraps around me.”

Kjartansson is the first to note that this world of art in which he resides is frail. “I don’t believe in the truth of art. As my mother says, ‘Let’s not destroy a good story with the truth.’” 
(Calvin TomkinsPlay it Again”, The New Yorker, April 11 2016.) 

The artist has explored the transcendental power of art through a variety of forms, repeatedly confronting the illusion it inevitably entails. “Actually I think that the only true art is enjoying art.” 
(Ragnar Kjartansson, The End, 2009.) 

And there will be plenty for the audience to enjoy. The exhibition reflects Kjartansson’s ode to art in all its glory, to music, theater, film, literature and – naturally - visual arts. This celebration is manifested through selected works, dating from 2004 to the present; live endurance performance, large-scale video installations, photography, sculpture, painting and drawing.

A significant work in the exhibition is World Light – The Life and Death of an Artist, 2015. The four-channel video installation offers a mind boggling twenty-odd hours of documenting an attempt at creating the ultimate art experience. With painted drapes, an original score performed live on the set, a script based on a novel by the Nobel Prize author Halldór Laxness and acting in the hands of the artist and his Icelandic entourage, this epic filmic experiment is a Gesamtkunstwerk bringing together key elements in Kjartansson’s art.

Reykjavík Art Museum is proud to host this elaborate exhibition. Kjartansson’s work takes over the museum building, providing a fascinating insight into the multilayered world that he has constructed. Many of the works have never before been exhibited in Iceland, notably the more recent ones which have insured the artist’s place as a leading figure on the international art scene. Furthermore, some intriguing and rarely seen early works will be on display.  

Born into a theatrical family, Kjartansson introduces the notion of acting and staging in his performative practice. He moves freely between art forms, rendering music sculptural, painting performative and film into tableaux vivants. Ever present is the scrutiny into the human condition, the emotional layers, the social dimensions and the contradicting elements that make up our everyday lives. 

Ragnar Kjartansson was born in Reykjavík in 1976 where he lives and works. He graduated from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2001, also studying at the Royal Academy in Stockholm in 2000. Kjartansson’s solo exhibitions are numerous; the two latest major ones took place in 2016-2017 in Barbican Centre, London and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC. His work has been the focus of important exhibitions in American and European museums such as Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015-2016), New Museum, New York (2014) and Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (2014) to name a few. Performances, happenings and group exhibitions cover many years and many countries of the world.

Artist/s: 
Curator/s: 
Markús Þór Andrésson
Invitation card: 
Exhibition opening images: 

Events related to exhibition

Magnús Sigurðarson.
Hafnarhús
8. June 2017 - 20:00
Tómas Tómasson shooting Ragnar Kjartansson's, The Visitors. Photo: Elísabet Davíðsdóttir.
Hafnarhús
13. July 2017 - 20:00
Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, Art Historian, Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson, author and artist, Benedikt Erlingsson Director, and Elísabet Indra Ragnarsdóttir programmer
Hafnarhús
7. September 2017 - 17:00
Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir, a still from Heimsljós by Ragnar Kjartansson.
Hafnarhús
10. August 2017 - 20:00
Ragnar Kjartansson. Photo: Hildur Inga Björnsdóttir.
Hafnarhús
15. June 2017 - 20:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: Guð, hvað mér líður illa
Hafnarhús
2. September 2017 - 13:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors, 2012, 9 channel video, loop: 00:64 min. Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik. Photo by Elísabet Davíðsdóttir.
Hafnarhús
7. September 2017 - 20:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad at Hafnarhús.
Hafnarhús
17. August 2017 - 14:00
Markús Þór Andrésson
Hafnarhús
17. August 2017 - 20:00
Bíó Paradís Cinema
15. September 2017 - 18:00
Kjartan Ragnarsson: Woman in E.
Hafnarhús
17. June 2017 - 10:00
Markús Þór Andrésson
Hafnarhús
14. September 2017 - 20:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: Guð, hvað mér líður illa
Hafnarhús
16. September 2017 - 13:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad at Hafnarhús.
Hafnarhús
22. August 2017 - 14:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad at Hafnarhús.
Hafnarhús
24. August 2017 - 14:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad at Hafnarhús.
Hafnarhús
29. August 2017 - 14:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad at Hafnarhús.
Hafnarhús
31. August 2017 - 14:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad at Hafnarhús.
Hafnarhús
5. September 2017 - 14:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad at Hafnarhús.
Hafnarhús
7. September 2017 - 14:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad at Hafnarhús.
Hafnarhús
12. September 2017 - 14:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad at Hafnarhús.
Hafnarhús
14. September 2017 - 14:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad at Hafnarhús.
Hafnarhús
19. September 2017 - 14:00
Ragnar Kjartansson: God, I Feel So Bad at Hafnarhús.
Hafnarhús
21. September 2017 - 14:00