RAGNAR KJARTANSSON

After doing the Architecture tour in the Barbican I went to the exhibition of Ragnar Kjartansson. He’s an Icelandic artist who studied at the Academy of Arts in Reykjavik. He makes performance art, video installations and paintings. His art specialises in capturing emotions and movements, but also has a certain irony to it. A lot of repetition and duration is going on in his work.

When entering the exhibition a performance was on. The work ‘Take me here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage’ is performed live every day during 8 hours. A video is being projected onto a wall and randomly placed guitarist in the room plays music and sings while drinking beer and hanging around. Because of the very tall space the sound made beautiful echoes and was very calming in a way. I must say it felt a bit awkward when walking past those musicians and them staring at you and singing, it was almost like getting a personal little concert.

I pretty much loved all of his work, but one that stuck out was The End – Venice, where Ragnar painted the same man—his friend Pall Haukur Bjornsson—every day during the 6 months running up to the Venice Biennial. The amount of paintings and colours was overwhelming and beautiful to look at. The poses the man strikes were sometimes pretty funny and amusing.

Overall I really enjoyed Ragnar Kjartansson’s work. The way he communicates his art is very ironic and amusing.