Ragnar Kjartansson’s S.S. Hangover

Ragnar Kjartansson’s latest work, S.S. Hangover, offers peaceful music and quiet, a journey that goes nowhere, yet never ends. IMAG4080Six musicians play a 5-minute piece (composed by Kjartan Sveinsson) in a mini-Viking ship that circulates two large slips at the back of the Venice Biennale Arsenale complex.

Click image to see a 7-minute clip of S.S. Hangover by Ragnar Kjartansson

Click image to see a 7-minute clip of S.S. Hangover by Ragnar Kjartansson

There is humor in the piece – the name of the ship, the seemingly pointlessness of the journey – but it is a contemplative work, offering the viewer a moment to think, to drift, to consider where we might be next.

Ragnar Kjarrtansson watches over the S.S. Hangover

Ragnar Kjarrtansson watches over the S.S. Hangover

I watched on the final day, a chill in the air, as everyone smoked – musicians, composer and artist alike – and the moment to disembark arrived and they set sail on the last tour of a six-month journey.IMAG4099The captain pushed off, pipe in hand, and steered the miniature vessel on its tiny course, and the musicians played, paused and played again, left a lone trumpeter on a dock, returned for him again, played and drifted on in silence, played again. IMAG4098Happily, it is an almost endless thing, something to remember as we look forward to Kjartansson’s next work, more time to think, at The New Museum in 2014.

Venice Biennale 2013: “You’re Going the Wrong Way!”

We had to catch the final sailing of  Ragnar Kjartansson’s S.S. Hangover at the far end of the Venice Biennale 2013 and returned a couple of hours later against the crowds…

IMAG4139Through the Bahamas Pavillion.. IMAG4108Through South Africa…IMAG4118Past the Giant Woman…IMAG4128Winding our way through all the perversions…IMAG4125IMAG4132My partner telling me that this year’s Biennale was more about the artists’ stories rather than the art…IMAG4135Under the Swinging LatvianTree…Screenshot (201)Around the Representation of Symbiosis…IMAG4054Back to the open air…IMAG4045All of which gave me that distinct Poseidon Adventure feeling: You’re Going the Wrong Way! IMAG4134

Venice Biennale 2013: Gold Coins to Drunk Mice

I wanted to write something thoughtful about my visit today to the Venice Biennale, but I absorbed too much of it…Gold coins raining on women…

Vadim Zakharov's "The Danae Project"

Vadim Zakharov’s “The Danae Project” (Russia)

A tiny kid-world perfectly ordered…

Sarah Sze's "Triple Point"

Sarah Sze’s “Triple Point” (USA)

A preteen’s idea of pornography…

Evgenij Kozlov's "The Leningrad Album"

Evgenij Kozlov’s “The Leningrad Album” (Russia)

A piece of wood smothered in nails…

Antti Laitinen's "It's My Island"

Antti Laitinen’s “It’s My Island” (Finland)

And a drunken mouse…

Fischen & Weiss's "Suddenly This Overview"

Fischen & Weiss’s “Suddenly This Overview” (Switzerland)

and so my head don’t work too good now.