Exhibition, Musée d’art Contemporain, Montréal, Canada.
In his dramatic and humorous works, the Icelandic artist combines live performance with music to create manifestly romantic environments. He probes the tragicomic aspects of life in which sadness collides with happiness, horror with beauty, and drama with humour; he plays with themes from art history – the painter and model, the sacred space of the artist’s studio – which he then deconstructs by opening his studio to the public. Ragnar Kjartansson’s performances are melancholic yet also contain comical and absurd moments, as he exaggerates poses and attitudes. In his performances, which may stretch over weeks or even months, he studies not only his own physical and psychological limits but also the status of the artist and its multiple representations.