In his paintings, drawings, videos, music and performances, Ragnar Kjartansson (born 1976, in Reykjavík) expresses a lyrical gloom combined with subtle humour. His performances involve the same action being repeated over and over again, to generate a situation that is both hopeless and comical.
“Scandinavian Pain” is an eleven-metre long, pink neon sign that Kjartansson originally installed on the roof of a barn in for the Momentum 2006 Biennial. Living in the barn for a week, he acted out the stereotypical figure of the suffering, Nordic artist through various pictures and actions.
This neon work now belongs to the Moderna Museet collection, and Kjartansson will be installing it on a newly-built barn inside Moderna Museet Malmö for the “Malmö Nordic 2013” festival. Inside the barn are works by Edvard Munch that will probably appear in a new light. Ragnar Kjartansson himself will also participate in various ways, as a melancholy jester.