Episode 140: A Conversation with Ragnar Kjartansson

In this week’s episode, Wyndham sits down with world-renowned Icelandic artist and composer Ragnar Kjartansson to discuss his latest work “Death Is Elsewhere,” which opened at the New York Met earlier this month. “Death Is Elsewhere” is Kjartansson’s latest in a series of works in which music is played in a continuous loop and set to film and visual art in an immersive space. The piece features music from Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, and Gyoa and Kristin Anna Valtysdottir, of the Icelandic band mum, and has been met with rave reviews from the New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Pitchfork, and other publications. Wyndham and Ragnar discuss the inspiration behind the piece, the vision that drives the work, and the pressure of releasing an artist’s wild ideas in the halls of the Met. 

We’ve curated a selection of reviews of “Death Is Elsewhere” for you to enjoy on the Brother Brother Brother app, available on iTunes and Google Play. Special thanks to Jennifer Farrell of the Met for coordinating this special interview. 

“Death is Elsewhere” was a project undertaken by Jennifer Farrell (Department of Drawings and Prints) and Pari Stave (Modern and Contemporary Department) of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, under the direction of museum director Max Hollein and the Leonard A. Lauder Director Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, Sheena Wagstaff.

Demian Kendall