Time started to sing in the Prague’s National Gallery

The relativity of time was always one the most discussed topics within philosophy, and its uncertainty as well as its importance are often depicted by different kinds of art. One of the artists, who invites us to dream and contemplate about time as such, is Ragnar Kjartansson.

The work of this painter and performance artist brings us into the dark room, in which it is possible to sit or even lie and look at the art, which is “in motion.” Nine channel video projection makes one work, which is divided into the nine moving pictures that perfectly fit together. Every part is dedicated to one or more musicians, each of which plays and sings a song, which is called My Feminine Ways.

Before the entrance of The Rhetoric of Time, Revisited, there is a board, which says “There is no film beyond this point” and it is associated also with other videos of this National Gallery‘s exhibition. It should tell us that the reality may always become the “online” reality. Ragnar Kjartansson is not the only one, who tries to play with time, because this project, which is the 4th chapter of Moving Image Department, is enriched by the works of Tomáš Svoboda as well.

Kjartansson’s The Visitors is a work, which can be considered as a connection of the images, which invite us to penetrate into our own minds and find there the answers to the questions associated with the concept of time. It offers us a lot of contrasting situations. For instance, the musicians in their everyday situations in contrast with the magnificence of the building in which they occur. It is evident that the members of this project enjoy every second of its making and even though they are all in the different rooms, their “worlds” create a very special connection of human feelings and their transformation into the audience’s minds. The artists use a banjo, contrabass, guitar, accordion, and piano and a diversity of these instruments acts like the diversity of our feelings. A joy is mixed with sorrow, and a gradual infusion of our beings with such feelings, makes us The Visitors of the world directed by time. And as Ragnar Kjartansson says in his interview, “it is sad and beautiful to be a human being.” There are many things that allow us to see a beauty and sadness at the same time, and one of them is this artwork.


…There are stars exploding around you and there is nothing you can do…

…once again I fall into my feminine ways…





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