Ragnar Kjartansson at The 55th Venice Biennale
Ragnar Kjartansson will take part in New Museum curator Massimiliano Gioni’s International Art Exhibition Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace) at the 55th Venice Biennale. The exhibition will be open to the public from Saturday June 1st until Sunday November 24th 2013 at the Giardini and at the Arsenale, as well as in various venues throughout the city, with works by 150 artists from 37 countries.
A Wagnerian tableau of sorts, Kjartansson’s S.S. Hangover will sail between two landings in the canal in the Arsenale. The boat will be manned by a brass sextet continuously playing a piece by composer Kjartan Sveinsson that was created specifically for this kinetic sculpture. The hemicyclic sailing of the sound of horns, trombone, and tuba results in a stereoscopic effect. The boat will drop off the musicians one at a time, with each left to play alone on the pier as the boat sails away with the rest of the musicans still playing onboard, only to be picked up a round or two later and replaced by another musician in a continuous loop.
The S.S. Hangover, a haphazard hybrid of Greek, Icelandic, and Venetian ship design, was originally a 1934 wooden fishing boat from Reykjavík. It has been transformed by the artist into a replica of a theatrical boat that appeared on dry land in a swanky party scene in the 1935 film, Do You Remember Last Night. Kjartansson’s contribution to The Encyclopedic Palace was conceived specifically for the Arsenale’s historical shipyard, Gaggiandre, where the Venetians impressively pushed afloat countless newly built ships, insuring the Venetian Empire’s rule in its golden years.
The S.S. Hangover will be in active motion daily for the entire duration of the Biennale. The hours of the performance are as follows:
During the Vernissage, 28 – 31 May: daily, 10am – 7pm.
1 June – 26 October: daily, 2 – 6pm.
After Sunday, 27 October (to compensate for the time change and shorter days): daily, 1– 5 pm.
Location: see map
For more information about The Encyclopedic Palace, please visit the Venice Biennale website.