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  • Writer's pictureBeyond the Canvas

'Epic Waste of Love and Understanding' - Ragnar Kjartansson at Louisiana Museum

This is the first time that I write my thoughts about an exhibition and have no photos or videos to share. And that's because, believe it or not, I haven't taken any.

Today was a day of firsts, for this show is like none I had experienced before. Kjartansson's videos pull you in, chew you up and spit you out. And when you think they're done messing with your head, they pull you back in, find the deepest, most vulnerable and obscure place in your soul and smash it to smithereens. It's like trying (and failing) to get out of an overwhelming vortex of unlabelled emotions. But it's not over. His dumbfounding video installations will also console you, they will revive you, heal you, and even bring the odd wry smile to your face. It's like going from the misery of heartbreak to being born again, that's the best I can describe it.

Kjartansson flexes the medium's muscle combining what appears to be a long-standing obsession with repetition, duration, music and performance. His masterpiece The Visitors (2014), hailed by The Guardian as the best artwork of the century, unleashed a reaction that was similar to being inside the Sistine Chapel. It's like a monumental yet intimate hymn to loneliness and togetherness. This 64' memorial to the end of the artist's marriage is both desperately melancholic and strangely uplifting.

Look it up. Look all of it up. And if you're as lucky as I am to catch this show before it closes on October 22nd, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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