Purple Art

[April 9 2014]

Ragnar Kjartansson and friends: The Palace of the Summerland at TBA 21, Vienna

Ragnar Kjartansson and his friends followed Francesca von Habsburg’s invitation and took a ride to Vienna’s Augarten in order to shoot a movie. The Icelandic artist and his entourage of costume designers, musicians, art directors and camera operators are currently turning the TBA 21 into a “felliniesque” studio, where living, working and exhibition space are melting into one. Hence, apart from making a film, the act of producing and shooting it in a public environment constitutes a performance piece by itself. Visitors find themselves in the middle of a work in progress and are able to watch the different departments fulfilling their tasks. While the first room is used to build props, set models and to draw storyboards, the second room, whose entrance is marked by a big red light box, stating “recording”, has been turned into the actual studio set. The last room is a mix of costume and prop storage as well as a chill out area for cast and crew. Visitors are invited to walk around freely, as long as they turn off their phones and keep the noise down. Ragnar Kjartansson’s daring act of translating Halldor Laxness’ epic story “Palace of the Summerland” into a super-low budget movie within three weeks will be followed by an exhibition that will include the finished movie as well as selected props. Filming runs until June 8th at the TBA 21, Vienna. Text and photo Philipp Draxler

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