We’re not usually big fans of video installations and when we wandered in to Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s show at Lurhring Augustine, the main thing on our mind was avoiding the snow falling outside. To our utter delight we found ourselves spending a joyful hour mesmerised by the 9 screen video installation which transported us to a dreamy world of Upstate bohemia.
The story begins with Kjartansson in a bath strumming on a guitar. The 8 other screens are different rooms in a rambling Upstate mansion. Each room is soon filled with another renowned musician and soon they are all singing and playing a beautiful song (which is still trapped in our head). Filmed in one take, the film makes you feel like you are in the house, part of this wonderful group of artists and friends.
The title of the piece is taken from the The Visitors album by ABBA and the story ends as beautifully as it begins, with the group all coming together, heading outside in to the lush hills and walking away in the distance, still singing the same song.Ragnar Kjartansson. The Visitors. Luhring Augustine. 531 West 24th Street. New York. NY 10011. Closes March 1st, 2013