Artist Ragnar Kjartansson joins Becky and Þórhildur Tinna in this episode and they travel along the spectrum of emotions including love and understanding, fear satire and fakery. Ragnar shares stories about art for theater, the role of fiction, feminism and pushing things to the end in his works, exhibitions, radical meetings and collaborations. As one of the most recognized and well-loved contemporary artists of our time, Ragnar’s works spark something human, are sometimes misunderstood, but most often adored.
He has exhibited across the world and realized a number of meaningful collaborations with artists, musicians, performers, activists and other creatives from his local Iceland and beyond. Alongside many other things at the moment, Ragnar recently opened the first comprehensive solo exhibition of his works, titled Epic Waste of Love and Understanding, on September 6th, 2023 at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, which is on view until October 22nd, 2023.
Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976) studied at Iceland University of the Arts, The Royal Academy in Stockholm and the Homemaking School in Reykjavík. His solo exhibitions have been held in many of the most respected art museum in the world such as Barbican Center in London, 2016, Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart, Germany 2019 and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York 2019. He represented Iceland at the Venice Biennale in 2009.
They discuss the recent premier in Iceland of Soviet Barbara. The film follows Ragnar Kjartansson in the days leading up to the opening of Santar Barbara in Moscow. In December 2021, shortly before the Russian invasion in Ukraine, Icelandic visual artist Ragnar Kjartansson opened a monumental exhibition at a new arts center called GES-2 in the heart of Moscow. In a former power plant that used to power the Kremlin, now owned and renovated for one of Russia’s richest men, Ragnar’s main attraction was an unprecedented living sculpture called Santa Barbara. While some of his works deal with his long-standing infatuation with Russian culture and art, the main event – Santa Barbara, deals directly with the cultural dialogue between rival superpowers in the last days of the Cold War.
Created and produced by the Icelandic Art Center, Out There brings co-hosts Becky Forsythe and Þórhildur Tinna Sigurðardóttir in conversation with artists, curators and art professionals.