previews

  • Ragnar Kjartansson, Bliss, 2011. Performance view. Performa 11, New York, 2011. Photo by Paula Court.

    Ragnar Kjartansson, Bliss, 2011. Performance view. Performa 11, New York, 2011. Photo by Paula Court.

    “Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors”

    Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
    Limmatstrasse 270
    September 1–October 28, 2012

    Curated by Heike Munder

    For his first solo show in Switzerland, Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson has staged The Visitors, 2012, a major video installation commissioned by the Migros Museum to inaugurate the institution’s expanded space. No doubt this freshly renovated venue stands in striking contrast to the images of a disintegrating Rokeby Mansion, the former Astor family residence, built in 1815 in upstate New York, where the new work’s footage was shot. Installed across nine screens, Kjartansson’s piece is a meditation on love and loss, featuring the artist’s friends performing a song (lyrics written by his recently divorced wife) within the grand home’s eerily preserved, if weathered, interior spaces and across its expansive Hudson Valley grounds. An accompanying catalogue offers a full accounting of Kjartansson’s music-related work.