November 11, 2015
Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s acclaimed nine screen, multi-channel installation ‘The Visitors’ is now open (from 11 November to 6 December) at Brewer Street Car Park.
‘The Visitors’ is a nine-channel, HD video installation which transports the beholder to a peculiar universe: in the various rooms of the historic villa Rokeby on the picturesque Hudson River in New York State, the artist, his friends, and residents repeatedly perform a “feminine nihilistic gospel song.”
As with most of Ragnar Kjartansson’s performance and video art, music and creative collaboration with friends play a crucial role in ‘The Visitors’. Each musician was recorded individually, so that every screen, except one, in the installation shows a different participant in a separate setting in the farmhouse or on the grounds. When all of these single takes are combined, the performance emerges as a whole.
‘The Visitors’ takes its title from the final album released by the pop band ABBA. It features lyrics based on a poem written by Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir and musical arrangements by Kjartansson and Davíð Þór Jónsson.
Says Kjartansson of ‘The Visitors’: “The work reflects a place where reality merges with fiction, history with rumours, and everyday life with dreams. Rokeby stands as a monument to an age of splendor, a villa full of art and bygone worldly wealth.”
In tandem with the exhibition opening, Ragnar Kjartansson and The Vinyl Factory launch a new collaborative record label called Bel-Air Glamour Records. The first two releases on the label will be Kristín Anna’s ‘Howl’ and ‘The Visitors’ soundtrack by Ragnar Kjartansson & The All-Star Band, featuring Kristín Anna, Kjartan Sveinsson and other musicians from The Visitors.