Exhibition: Ragnar Kjartansson at The Barbican

The Visitors, 2012. God, 2007. Scenes From Western Culture, 2015. All images courtesy of the artist.

Don't miss the eclectic and humorous world of Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson, at his first ever solo UK exhibition.

Born in Reykjavík into a theatrical family, (both his mother and father are famous Scandinavian actors) Ragnar grew up surrounded by Icelandic influences, from stage, film, music and literature - all of which transcend into his broad spectre of work.

Combining fantasy and reality, Ragner presents a diverse mix of video installations, paintings and performances in this this unique show. Upon entering the exhibition you are greeted by ten musicians dotted around the lower gallery, singing live harmonies, composed by Kjartan Sveinsson of Sigur Rós fame and accompanied by a soft focus film of Ragnar’s parents. The result is compelling, emotional and somewhat soothing.

Film highlights include ‘The Visitors’ a nine video performance featuring separate musicians, filmed in one take at Rokeby Farm in Upstate New York, and Ragnar’s MoMA installation which included the band The National performing for eight hours straight.

Throughout the show the artist also takes on the role of the storyteller, be it the guise of a Hollywood crooner, the romanticised artist or the playful personification of death, Ragnar takes you on a cheerful unpretentious journey. This is a rare exhibition experience not to be missed, where every piece on show is a highlight.

Whistles highly recommends a trip to the Barbican’s Ragnar Kjartansson exhibition before it closes on the 4th September 2016.

Find out more here.