Epic Waste of Love and Understanding – a phrase that originally fell into an argument between the Icelandic artist, Ragnar Kjartansson and his wife at home in the kitchen. In 2023, Louisiana will exhibit the world-renowned Kjartansson, and the phrase from the kitchen quarrel is not only on the T-shirt here, but is the title of the entire exhibition – and is also "chiseled" in Kjartansson's sculpture at the entrance to the museum: A six-metre high monument in painted marble plywood for confusion. An almost too big, poetic-pathetic statement about the blatant waste of love and empathy found in the conflicts of history and today, and in our relationships with each other and the world.
Kjartansson's emotional and political commitment to the world is reflected in the works. They contain his loving, humorous and critical dialogue with Western culture – our self-understanding, successes, clichés, failures, melancholy, confusion, hope and absurdities. Nuanced reflections on masculinity appear in both work and exhibition in a thematic range from existential pain to aggressive world politics, which also includes the Danish colonialization of the artist's homeland, Iceland.
The works oscillate ambiguously precisely between the existential and political seriousness and the pop lightness. With Kjartansson, you usually have to both cry and laugh. The tension between tragedy and comedy is the artist's signature – for example in the work Me and My Mother from 2015, which many will know from Louisiana's collection.
At Louisiana, the exhibition with Ragnar Kjartansson follows on from major presentations by other main figures in the contemporary art field of multimedia practices, where performance, video, sound and other media are united, e.g. Marina Abramović, Pipilotti Rist, Mika Rottenberg and Arthur Jafa.
Sizes: Small, Medium and Large
Material: Certified organic cotton, fair trade
Design: Ragnar Kjartansson/Louisiana
Model: Ragnar Kjartansson T-shirt, Epic Waste of Love and Understanding