Ragnar Kjartansson

Ragnar Kjartansson

S.S. Hangover, performative kinetic sound sculpture which sails between two landings at the Venice Arsenale, Ragnar Kjartansson, 2013

Date: 20.06 —

Screenings at
the hour
during the exhibition


SEA Foundation
in collaboration with


S.S. Hangover

Staight from the preview of 55th International Art Biennale (2013) this lovely, melancholy provoking new work of Ragnar Kjartansson. S.S. Hangover is performative kinetic sound sculpture sails between two landings at the Venice Arsenale.

The S.S. Hangover is a hybrid ship design, combining Greek, Icelandic and Venetian features and  was originally a 1934 wooden fishing boat from Reykjavík that the artist transformed into a remake of a theatrical boat that appeared on dry land in a swanky party scene in the film “Remember Last Night?” (1935). Sailing under the flag of a winged fat Pegasus–one that Kjartansson regards as a symbol for the artist struggling to reach sublime heights–this performative sculpture has an air of celebration and defeat to it. S.S. Hangover is carrying a brass sextet, playing a composition by Kjartan Sveinsson. See the video-impression straight from the preview, recorded on 3rd June 2013


Ragnar Kjartansson (1976, Reykjavík, Iceland) is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice involves drawing, painting, video installation, and performance. The Icelandic conceptual and performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s practice draws on a rich history of performance and stage traditions. His interdisciplinary and often-playful work creates tensions between the dramatic and the mundane, tragedy and humor. His performances frequently have an extended duration, lasting from several hours to days at time, and transforming simple motifs, actions, and music through sustained repetition into what the artist calls performative sound sculptures.His love for performance initially translated as endeavors into music-making.

Kjartansson has been active in numerous Icelandic bands of varying quality and popularity and has since had ongoing collaborative relationships with Kjartan Sveinsson–a founding member of Sigur Rós–virtuoso Davíð Þór Jónsson, and the band The National.