God, I Feel So Bad

After a successful series of international appearances in recent years, including major survey exhibitions on both sides of the Atlantic, Ragnar Kjartansson opens his first museum show in his homeland, Iceland next Saturday. One might not expect such a title as God, I Feel So Bad at this point in the artist’s career. However, Kjartansson speaks for himself and the audience, as he acknowledges art’s ever persuasive allure. This is manifested in the opening work in the first of three durational performances. To Music, 2012, is based on Schober’s romantic poetry that suggests art may transport us all into a better world “when life's mad tumult wraps around me.”
 
Kjartansson is the first to note that this world of art in which he resides is frail. “I don’t believe in the truth of art. As my mother says, ‘Let’s not destroy a good story with the truth.’” 
(Calvin Tomkins “Play it Again”, The New Yorker, April 11 2016.) 
 
The artist has explored the transcendental power of art through a variety of forms, repeatedly confronting the illusion it inevitably entails. “Actually I think that the only true art is enjoying art.” 
(Ragnar Kjartansson, The End, 2009.) 
 
And there will be plenty for the audience to enjoy. The exhibition reflects Kjartansson’s ode to art in all its glory, to music, theater, film, literature and – naturally - visual arts. This celebration is manifested through selected works, dating from 2004 to the present; live endurance performance, large-scale video installations, photography, sculpture, painting and drawing.
 
More about the exhibition on artmuseum.is