The Palace of the Summerland

Posted by April 3, 2014 - Art, Film, Pop Culture

Ragnar Kjartansson and Friends

Tomorrow (4th of April) a new fancy art project starts in Thyssen-Bornemisza Art ContemporaryAugarten, Vienna! We had a blast at the press event and enjoyed the VERY HUMOROUS artists around the Islandic project leader Ragnar Kjartansson. Visit TBA21 and see for yourself! You’ll find a film-making set and see how the production goes on and on and on – until 8th of June.

Born in Reykjavík in 1976, Kjartansson draws on the entire arc of art in his performative practice. The history of film, music, theater, visual culture, and literature finds its way into his video installations, durational performances, drawing, and painting. Pretending and staging become key tools in the artist’s attempts to convey sincere emotion and offer a genuine experience to the audience.


Photo: Nathan Murrell / TBA21, 2014 

TBA21 presents the project: The Palace of the Summerland in its spectacular venue at the Augarten.

From April 3 to April 27, the artist and his troupe of musicians, actors, artistic directors, costume designers, camera operators, and technical crew will live and perform continuously in the Augarten exhibition space, transforming it into an active film making studio. Visitors can experience all the different levels of a film production – and are asked to remain silent while the team actually takes the scenes ;)


Photo: Nathan Murrell / TBA21, 2014 

“The Palace of the Summerland” Story is a classic islandic book, which has a holy status to the Islandic population. Yet the crew around Ragnan Kjartansson said:

We’re gonna create a Chaplin movie with a softcore porn budget!

Yet the most important achievement for the artists is to find true beauty in everything. Anyway they are well aware of the fact, that they have to finish their schedule every day – this art / film making / performance / theatre project is a machine, which goes on and on whether guests are there or not.


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We really recommend to swing by and say hi! :)

Performance / Exhibition

Ragnar Kjartansson and Friends: The Palace of the Summerland
Curated by Daniela Zyman
Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna
and co-produced with Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City


TBA21–Augarten, Scherzergasse 1a, 1020 Vienna, Austria

Performance nights (exhibition open until midnight)

Saturdays, April 5, 12, 19 and 26


April 30–June 8

Opening hours

Wednesday–Thursday, 12–5 pm; Friday–Sunday, 12–7 pm
From April 3 to April 27, every Saturday from noon until midnight Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Free admission

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary–Augarten
T +43 1 513 98 56-24 // // // 

 Statement from Francesca von Habsburg:

Ragnar has brought together a group of important and influential artists and musicians with whom he has been working for years, and never before has he laid his creative process open to visitors as he is doing in this project. This will be a Fellini moment, in an open studio, on a live set, and an opportunity to experience performance at its very best. I am truly grateful to Ragnar for trusting us with this deeply personal work, and I applaud his courage and conviction. All I can do is stand by him and let this happen. You are all welcome to come and be part of this extraordinary opportunity to experience in person the work of this soon-to-be-legendary artist from Iceland.