Ragnar Kjartansson: Me, My Mother, My Father, & I
This catalogue coincides with the exhibition “Me, My Mother, My Father, and I” it is the first New York museum exhibition of Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976 Reykjavfk, Iceland; lives and works in Reykjavík). Born into a family of actors and theater professionals, Kjartansson draws from a varied history of stage traditions, film, music, and literature. His performances, drawings, paintings, and video installations explore the boundary between reality and fiction as well as constructs of myth and identity. He often attempts to convey genuine emotion through melodramatic gestures and conversely reveals sincerity within pretending. Playing with stereotypes usually projected onto the persona of the actor, Kjartansson both celebrates and derides the romanticized figure of the artist as cultural hero. His performances are often feats of endurance, which last for hours or days at a time, taking a motif as simple as a pop song and transforming it through protracted repetition into a transcendent mantra.
New Museum of Contemporary Art; 2014; Softcover; 5.5" x 8"; 70 pp; illustrated throughout; ISBN 9780915557028