Sketches for The End Rocky Mountains, 2008 - Ragnar Kjartansson

About the Work

About Sketches for The End Rocky Mountains

These sketches are for Ragnar Kjartansson's performance piece The End—Rocky Mountains, in which Kjartansson and fellow Icelandic musician Davíð por Jónsson composed a soundtrack in G, which they then performed in the Rocky Mountains at temperatures below ...

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These sketches are for Ragnar Kjartansson's performance piece The End—Rocky Mountains, in which Kjartansson and fellow Icelandic musician Davíð por Jónsson composed a soundtrack in G, which they then performed in the Rocky Mountains at temperatures below freezing. Their performances were recorded and filmed, then synched together to compose a single disfigured country music arrangement. The resulting five-channel video piece was presented at the 2009 Venice Biennale as part of Kjartansson's installation The End—Venice.

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About the Artist

About Ragnar Kjartansson

Ragnar Kjartansson's tragicomic performances take on the boundaries between art and life, fiction and reality. His work is often about the nature of art ...

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Ragnar Kjartansson's tragicomic performances take on the boundaries between art and life, fiction and reality. His work is often about the nature of art, addressing our romantic mythology of the Artist as mysterious, elevated, or bohemian. Though primarily a performance, video, and installation artist, Kjartansson does it all, regularly incorporating painting, drawing, sculpture, and music (he is pop royalty in his native Iceland) into his practice.

Theatricality, repetition, and identity are recurring themes in Kjartansson's performances, in which he often stars as a version of himself melded with a character from cultural history. For example, in his 2006 live performance Sorrow Conquers Happiness, captured in the video God, Kjartansson posed as a debonair 1940s nightclub crooner, singing "sorrow conquers happiness" over and over accompanied by a jazz trio before falling into a trance. In his 2008 Schumann Machine, he built a shack decorated with flames and inside recited a dramatic poem accompanied by a piano. These works, funny and farcical yet melancholic, exaggerate the romanticism of artistic emotion.

Unlike infamous performance artists like Marina Abramovic and Chris Burden who make the viewer feel uncomfortable through their suffering and endurance, Kjartansson's performances are enjoyable to watch and do not alienate the viewer. He says, "I try to take a theatrical approach to make it look easy. Like: 'Ha ha ha! I'm enjoying myself, in opera!'"

Click here to read our interview with Ragnar Kjartansson falling in love, pretending not to care, and bringing a pocketknife to art fairs.

Click here to watch a clip of Ragnar Kjartansson's 2013 Venice Biennale performance.

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Sketches for The End Rocky Mountains, 2008

Ragnar Kjartansson

Print
Size Price
9.06" x 19.69" $1,000
Edition of 15

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Offered in partnership with:

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Description

Pigment print on paper.

Authentication

Signed and numbered by the artist with name of work, artist, and date.

Shipping

Ships in 10 to 14 business days.
This work is final sale and not eligible for return.

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Ragnar Kjartansson
Sketches for The End Rocky Mountains

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