Monday, July 14, 2008


In a show of contemporary Icelandic art at Luhring Augustine, there’s a catchy video installation by Ragnar Kjartansson. You walk into a pink chiffon-lined dark room where a 1950s crooner and his orchestra gloomily repeats and repeats “Sorrow conquers happiness.” It’s both funny and sad.

I usually hate this kind of installation. A room decorated to suit a video; usually the décor adds nothing. But, in this case, the pink is satisfying. Also, the image looks crisp and stylish. And it’s good to be able to digest the extent of the piece rather quickly – this is not a thirty minute narrative.

For some reason, the piece is called God. This is pretentious, for sure, and makes me second-guess my attraction to the piece. But, maybe I’ll let it slide.


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