Ragnar Kjartansson: The end : The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada

30 January - 18 May 2010 

A self-described radical post-romantic, the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson traveled westbound towards the Rocky Mountains in search of the epic. Working primarily as a performance artist, Kjartansson is known for his spectacular and humorous stagings of extreme character types, from the knight and rock outcast to the lonely crooner. In Banff the artist sought to create a cacophonic folk-country music video in the guise of a Davy Crockett-clad outlaw. Drawing on the nostalgic representations of nature found in sources as varied as paintings by Caspar David Friedrich and the cover of the Supertramp album Even In The Quietest Moments, his work is a dramatized engagement with Canada’s frontier. 

The End — Rocky Mountains is a five-channel video installation synched together as a single disfigured country music arrangement in the chord of G. Produced with the support of The Banff Centre for the Icelandic Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, the piece was developed by Kjartansson in collaboration with Icelandic musician Davíð Þór Jónsson at The Centre in February 2009. 

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