Ragnar Kjartansson and Friends to turn Vienna’s TBA21 into a Live/Work Studio for the Month of April

Ragnar Kjartansson and friends Photo: © Lilja Birgisdóttir, 2014
Ragnar Kjartansson and friends Photo: © Lilja Birgisdóttir, 2014

To create what’s being dubbed, “an epic on a softporn budget,” Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson and 14 friends will move into Vienna’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary for the better part of April. Announced on Tuesday, The Palace of the Summerland looks to be something of a follow-up to his film The Visitors (2012), which saw Kjartansson and eight friends settle down at upstate New York’s Rokeby Farm to film a nine-channel video work, which was debuted at Luhring Augustine last year. Based on Halldór Laxness’ novel World Light (1937), The Palace of the Summerland focuses on, “scenes from this novel, which depict the utopic creative moment, the search for perfection, and the final romanticized sacrifice for art,” according to Kjartansson. He’s enlisted his theater director father, a composer and former member of Sigur Rós, and twelve other cast and crew for the project to create, “a Fellini-style studio, a mayhem factory,” within the exhibition space. TBA21 founder Francesca von Habsburg says is his most ambitious to date. Kjartansson is more humble: “We are not really making cinema; we are acting out an attempt to make cinema.”

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