Ragnar Kjartansson, Jamian Juliano-Villani, and Tirtza Even

Ragnar Kjartansson, Jamian Juliano-Villani, and Tirtza Even

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

Ragnar Kjartansson, The End, 2009. Video, 30:30 minutes. Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik.

February 1, 2015

Ragnar Kjartansson: The End
Detroit Affinities: Jamian Juliano-Villani
Tirtza Even: Natural Life

February 6–March 29, 2015

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit 
4454 Woodward Ave 
Detroit MI, 48201 

T +1 313 832 6622 


Ragnar Kjartansson: The End
Ragnar Kjartansson is known for his spectacular, music-filled performative live installations and video work. The history of film, music, theater, visual culture, and literature finds its way into his videos, durational performances, drawings, and paintings. Filmed in Banff, Alberta, The End is a five-channel video installation synched together as a country music arrangement in the key of G. Produced with the support of The Banff Centre for the Icelandic Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, the piece was developed by Kjartansson in collaboration with Icelandic musician Davíð Þór Jónsson. Kjartansson studied at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. He was born in 1976 in Reykjavík, where he still lives and works today. MOCAD presents The End as the beginning of a two-year partnership with Ragnar Kjartansson. In February of 2016, MOCAD will present a newly commissioned work. This exhibition has been organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and is curated by MOCAD Executive Director Elysia Borowy-Reeder and MOCAD Senior Curator at Large Jens Hoffmann.

Detroit Affinities: Jamian Juliano-Villani
MOCAD presents DETROIT CITY, a multiyear program of exhibitions, talks, publications, and educational initiatives investigating Detroit’s current artistic, political, cultural, and economic realities, and how Detroit connects with other cities and regions around the globe. Detroit Affinities is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by MOCAD Senior Curator at Large Jens Hoffmann. 

The second segment in the Detroit Affinities series will spotlight the work of New York artist Jamian Juliano-Villani, marking her first solo museum exhibition. Jamian Juliano-Villani creates expansive, chaotic scenes painted in a bright, intense palette. Her work is informed by a wide range of sources, including modernist abstract painting, Japanese pen and ink drawings, and 1930s and 1980s American cartoons, including Ralph Bakshi’s curvaceous women. She was born in 1987 in Newark, New Jersey and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. 

Tirtza Even: Natural Life
DEPE Space (Department of Education and Public Engagement) artist Tirtza Even presents Natural Life, an experimental documentary installation produced in conjunction with the legal efforts of The Law Offices of Deborah LaBelle. Natural Life challenges inequities in the juvenile justice system by depicting the stories of six youths who received the most severe sentence available for convicted adults; being sentenced to die in prison (i.e. given a sentence of “natural life” or “life without parole”). These stories are presented against the overlapping contexts of social bias, neglect, apprehension, and alienation. Natural Life is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by MOCAD Curator of Education and Public Engagement Amy Corle. 

The Department of Education and Public Engagement develops adventurous, multidisciplinary programming in which the Museum and the city of Detroit function as sites for investigation and experimentation. MOCAD curators and invited artists work with international and local communities to produce events and projects that are rigorous and innovative. 

Ongoing video series 
Vdrome is on view at MOCAD and online, organized by Edoardo Bonaspetti, Jens Hoffmann, Andrea Lissoni, and Filipa Ramos, exhibiting an ongoing program of rotating film and video works, directed by visual artists and filmmakers whose production lies in between contemporary art and cinema. 

Exhibition programming support is generously provided by the Taubman Foundation. Additional funding for programming and educational initiatives is provided by the Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. MOCAD is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. DETROIT CITY funding is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Kayne Foundation, Quicken Loans, Andre Sakai, Liz and Jonathan Goldman, Jane Suitor, Scholar Property LTD, Jasmin Tsou, Krawiecki Gazes Family, Kimberly Brown, and William Leung. DETROIT SPEAKS funding is provided by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. MOCAD Youth Programs are graciously funded by the General Motors Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The mission of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is to present art at the forefront of contemporary culture. As a non-collecting institution, MOCAD is responsive to the cultural content of our time, fueling crucial dialogue, collaboration, and public engagement.

MOCAD presents Ragnar Kjartansson, Jamian Juliano-Villani, and Tirtza Even
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Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
February 1, 2015

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