Icelandic Artist Embraces Canadian Landscape with Video Installation at the WAG

Icelandic Artist Embraces Canadian Landscape with Video Installation at the WAG

January 16, 2014–WINNIPEG: An experimental five projection video entitled The End–Rocky Mountains created by Icelandic artist and musician Ragnar Kjartansson will be shown at the WAG from January 18-April 20, 2014 with a free public opening Friday January 17, beginning at 7:00pm.

A self-described incurable romantic, Ragnar Kjartansson produced The End at the Banff Centre, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Against this sublime backdrop, Kjartansson and fellow Icelandic musician Davíð Þór Jónsson took a series of musical instruments out into the winter cold to jam out a song that hobbles along in fits and starts, filmed in temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius.

“The five sites this video projection was shot in are idyllic, arranged in such a way that they echo each other,” says Stephen Borys Director & CEO of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. “I’m certain the audience will enjoy the bourbon swigging, Davy Crockett-clad outlaws, and the intoxicating, ambiguous folk-country music video they’ve created.”

Wearing typically “frontier” attire, including fur hats and cowboy boots, the pair whimsically embrace the rugged Canadian landscape with a lighthearted yet sincere search for creative originality.

“This video conjures up age old conceptions of the artist as a romantic, the duo parodying notions of the Wild West and themes of Icelandic folklore,” says Paul Butler, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. “I think Manitoba, being home to the largest Icelandic population outside of Iceland, is the perfect audience to present this to.”

By combining his own personality with personas from cultural history, Kjartansson employs acting, repetition, and identity to blur the borders between life and art, reality, and fiction.

Members Opening • Fri, Jan 17, 11am–4pm, tour at noon
Public Opening • Free • Fri, Jan 17, 7–10pm

Looking North Family Sunday Program: Sunday, February 2, 1:30-4:00pm, $10 per family. Celebrate the Canadian North at the WAG!  Discover and explore the traditions and art practices of artists from Winnipeg to the Arctic.   Enjoy inspiring art workshops and games, immerse yourself in a fascinating multi-channeled film presentation from Iceland, and check out an exciting surprise rooftop installation (don’t forget your parka!). It’s fun for the whole family!

The End — Rocky Mountains is co-organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the WAG. It is part of NGC@WAG, a three-year collaborative partnership that features a series of exclusive exhibitions at the WAG drawn from the NGC’s extensive art collection.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate for understanding and experiencing art and art-making, and their vital place in our lives, work and society. As the premiere art museum in Manitoba, the Winnipeg Art Gallery plays a vital role in the community—enriching, inspiring, and engaging people with the world of art.

For more information please contact:
Izzy Goluch
Public Relations Coordinator
(204) 789-1295 or




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