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Ragnar Kjartansson at De Pont Museum

September 17, 2022–January 29, 2023
Opening: September 17, 2–5pm
Time Changes Everything, a singular survey exhibition by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson (Reykjavik, 1976), opens on September 17, 2022, at De Pont. It features new works, including the world premiere of his significant video piece No Tomorrow (2022). This will be the internationally famous artist’s first solo exhibition in the Netherlands and the biggest exhibition to ever take place at De Pont. Time Changes Everything will feature a mix of well-known and brand-new installations, encompassing the complete range of media in Kjartansson’s body of work.
The result of a cooperation between Ragnar Kjartansson, Margrét Bjarnadóttir, and Bryce Dessner, No Tomorrow is an immersive installation. Six enormous screens surround the visitor as eight young ladies playing acoustic guitars circle about while wearing white T-shirts and trousers, as though they were part of some ethereal, translucent carousel of painstakingly choreographed dances. As the music transforms into the dance and the movement into the music, any distinction between place and time seems to vanish. The piece includes a song based on passages from the Sappho poem and an excerpt from the 18th-century novella No Tomorrow by Vivant Denon. The installation simultaneously conjures memories of Antoine Watteau, Kjartansson’s favorite painter, and song-and-dance movies from the 1940s.

“In No Tomorrow we play with classic motifs of Western culture in an attempt to create a new way of making music and a new way of presenting it. Using the movements of the dancers to create music and a 30-channel sound and 6-channel video installation to project it into the exhibition space. It is also a wondering on  our ideals of beauty, our search for beauty and the absurdity of its representations, inspired by the frivolity and reality of rococo paintings, classical ballet and song and dance films. The performers all played a major part in creating this piece with us; it is a portrait of them and their art.” —Ragnar Kjartansson.

Woman in E

In addition to No Tomorrow, the show features works from all eras of Kjartansson’s artistic career, such as installations, paintings, sculptures, drawings, movies (including Me and My Mother, which De Pont purchased in 2020), and videos. The captivating 2016 performance piece Lady in E, in which a woman dressed in a shimmering golden dress stands on a rotating dais and continually plucking an E-minor chord on an electric guitar, will take place in the museum’s main hall. The E-minor chord is eminently suitable for expressing melancholy sentiments and deep heartache since it is commonly linked to melancholy. Throughout the show, Woman in E will be performed continually in the main hall.

Guilt and Fear (2022) is another piece the artist created especially for the exhibition in collaboration with the Eindhoven ceramics studio Fabrique Céramique. It is an installation made up of 1,000 porcelain salt and pepper shakers in the shape of neoclassical monuments that are painted with the words GUILT and FEAR and displayed in one extended configuration in a row of cabinets.

Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen and Maria Schnyder are in charge of curating the exhibition Ragnar Kjartansson: Time Changes Everything.

The press previewis onFriday, September 16, at 12pm. The artist will be present. Rehearsals for the performance Woman in E will be taking place during the preview. If you wish to attend, please register by sending an email to pressoffice [​at​] Limited spaces are available.

De Pont Museum
Wilhelminapark 1
De Pont Museum
5041 EA Tilburg Noord-Brabant
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

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