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Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors

May 30, 2014 – November 2, 2014

The Film & Video gallery of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a permanent space dedicated to video art and the moving image.

 The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao currently presents The Visitors (2012) by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson. A nine-screen multi-channel video installation, The Visitors documents a musical performance staged at historic Rokeby Farm in upstate New York, where the artist has been a frequent visitor since 2007. Kjartansson assembled a group of friends to help him produce this work, including several musicians from his hometown of Reykjavik.

The piece 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 the artist and Davíð Þór Jónsson. Each musician was recorded individually, so that every screen except one in the video 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 and they make sense as a whole.

Ragnar Kjartansson

The Visitors, 2012

Nine channel HD video projection

Duration: 64 minutes

© Ragnar Kjartansson. Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik.

Photo: Elísabet Davids

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