Ragnar Kjartansson
The Visitors

Faena Art Buenos Aires

Renowned Icelandic performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s 2012 work The Visitors is a nine-channel video installation that occupied the entire Sala Catedral of the Faena Art Center. Described as a hymn to the feminine by curator Daniela Zyman, the performance piece entrances and envelopes the audience within cyclical manifestations of song and action. The visitors in this case are eight performers (including the artist) and one choir, who occupy nine different locations at Rokeby Farm in upstate New York to perform one song simultaneously.
The eerie incantations of their feminine ways (taken from the lyrics of a song written by Kjartansson’s ex-partner Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir) echoed through the crumbling mansion; the weight of these appropriated words highlighting the indelible presence of the past. The Visitors is a feminist proposition in nine parts that engulfs the public in song.

“You only do a piece like this once in your life. You don’t want to strive to make pieces that are loved by everyone. Then you’re f---ed. But it’s fantastic to have made a piece that people love and everybody can relate to. It’s fantastic.”

Ragnar Kjartansson

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