They listen to Stravinsky, A Day in the life by Wes Montgomery, Festina Lente by Arvo Part, Bob Dylan and Nico. They use to spend time reading Zbigniew Herbert, Casanova and T.S. Eliot. They drink beer and smoke cigarettes. They will be spending their time – till November – painting paintings on a dock facing the the Grand Canal: is there any more romantic cliché for an artist?
Palazzo Michiel del Brusà serves as the Icelandic Pavillion transformed in a temporary makeshift studio for Ragnar Kjartansson who will paint the portrait of a young man posing day after day while smoking cigarettes, drinking beer and being clothed only in a bathing suit.
That’s The End, a six months long performance that – between loop and predictability, fiction, willing suspension of reality and absurd existential sensibility – questions the notion of the End, masculinity and machismo.
We met Ragnar Kjartansson in his venetian studio and we asked him about the title – the reference to the Icelandic financial crisis comes up to our minds – about romanticism as a geographical phenomenon, about fiction, teathre and performance.
The music that comes with the interview is The End - Rocky Mountains, composed by Ragnar Kjartansson.