Ragnar Kjartansson’s new video installation to premiere at the Met


By AGENCY
  • Travel
  • Thursday, 23 May 2019

A film still from Icelandic contemporary artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s new video installation 'Death Is Elsewhere', which will be on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, from May 30 through Sept 2. Photo: AFP

Icelandic contemporary artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s new video installation Death Is Elsewhere will be on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, from May 30 through Sept 2.

This immersive video installation features four musicians - male and female twins - who seem to be encircling the viewer.

Performing in the 77-minute video are The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner along with Kristin Anna and Gyoa Valtysdottir, formerly of the Icelandic band mum.

Resembling what Kjartansson calls "symmetrical sculptures," the four musicians are seen moving through a pastoral landscape while performing the song Death Is Elsewhere.

The title and verses of the song are drawn from passages of various books - including Alexander Dumbadze’s biography of Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, titled Bas Jan Ader - Death Is Elsewhere.

Death Is Elsewhere  is part of a series of performance-based works where a single song or a sentence is repeated in a nearly continuous loop - an element often found in Kjartansson’s oeuvre.

Renowned for his multi-channel video installations, Kjartansson has spent more than a decade exploring the potential of endurance-based performance. His performance Bliss featured a group of Icelandic opera singers performing the final aria of Mozart’s Marriage Of Figaro during 12 hours.

The presentation of Death Is Elsewhere is part of a new series of contemporary installations and performances at the Met Fifth Avenue. Wangeshi Mutu will create sculptures for the museum’s façade niches, while Kent Monkman will display several monumental paintings in the Great Hall. - AFP Relaxnews

 

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