It’s hard to imagine how three minutes of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro repeated for 12 hours can be so riveting.
The artist’s Death Is Elsewhere conveys an understanding that humans — relatively recent additions to a 4.5-billion-year-old planet — will come and go. The planet will remain.
At one point, watching Kjartansson’s facial expression grow increasingly blissed-out and almost absent, his eyes directed heavenward, I sensed an echo of Bernini’s ecstatic St. Teresa.
During a visit to Moe’s Tavern in a 1993 episode of The Simpsons, a character based on Yoko Ono famously ordered “a single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat.”
DETROIT — I’d been sitting in the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s Cafe 78 for roughly five minutes before I noticed that the usual sonic backdrop of well-curated music had been replaced by a single repeating guitar chord, fading almost to silence each time before being reprised (with an occasional light riff).
REYKJAVÍK, Iceland — “I was told to spit on my own beloved son over and over … Everything went according to plan — I spat and spat,” so goes the essay for Ragnar Kjartansson’s exhibition Me and My Mother.
As the Central Park Conservancy celebrates its 35th year, it’s hard to imagine the decrepit shape much of the park was in when they started revitalization efforts in 1980. As part of its anniversary celebrations, the Conservancy partnered with Creative Time.
TORONTO — If pain can be funny, and funny things are sometimes painful, then Villa Toronto was off to a hilariously macabre start on Friday night. Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson held court at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), offering “an evening of misery,” complete with sad songs and black humor.
Riding the elevator at the New Museum has become an alluring audio experience. Nearly every floor calls out with some unseen signature of sound, whether it’s the notes of a boozy, guitar-strumming party or white noise.
Behind a curtain in the darkened gallery space at Luhring Augustine nine screens, each equipped with its own speaker have been arranged into two somewhat discreet areas. Eight of the screens feature the image of a single musician — a guitarist, pianist, banjo player, cellist, and so forth — and one screen offers a view of the porch of a large house where other instrumentalists, singers and assorted folks have gathered. Ragnar Kjartansson’s video installation titled “The Visitors” documents in a single take the 64-minute-long performance of one song.
The fool, or jester, or clown is a well-established archetype in Western culture. We are taught that jesters provided entertainment for monarchs, prattling around in brightly colored costumes, poking fun at the court milieu while criticizing their masters and mistresses through their satire. The art world is pretty much like a royal court, right? It’s a self-serious, self-reinforcing community built around a central hierarchy. So who is our most perceptive clown?