RAGNAR KJARTANSSON

Stab Your Demoniac Smile to My Brain, 2019
Stainless steel, Perspex, LED lights, electric fittings, and metal base structure
The work is 120/240 V and is made for indoor or outdoor installation
94.5 in x 102.4 in. / 240.3 cm. x 260.9 cm.

Ragnar Kjartansson draws on the entire arc of art in his performative practice. The history of film, music, theatre, visual culture and literature find their way into his video installations, durational performances, drawing and painting. Pretending and staging become key tools in the artist's attempt to convey sincere emotion and offer a genuine experience to the audience.

In this work, the artist uses a quote written on a wall in the Abbey of Thelema, the ritual house of the legendary and infamous occultist/artist Aleister Crowley in Sicily: “Stab your demoniac smile to my brain, Soak me in cognac, and cocaine.”

Kjartansson's work has been exhibited widely. Recent solo exhibitions include the Barbican Art Gallery in London, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and the New Museum in New York. His newest work, Death Is Elsewhere, will have its world premiere at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, beginning at the end of this month. Kjartansson was born in 1976 in Reykjavík and studied at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and The Royal Academy, Stockholm.


Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and i8 Gallery, Reykjavík.
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