Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson sold six copies of his video installation piece, The Visitors.
Viðskiptablaðið reports that among the buyers were the Museum of Modern Art and the Migros Museum in Zurich, Switzerland. The copy which is currently showing at the gallery Kling og Bang is owned by the Baroness Francesca von Habsburg. It is unknown how much of the proceeds will go to cover the costs of production.
The Visitors features nine versions of the same song performed by different musicians, including members of múm and Sigur Rós. Each performance lasts more than an hour, showcasing them in different rooms of the Rokeby Farm in New York State. Karen Rosenberg of the New York Times likened the work to “a mellow jam session that’s almost indistinguishable from its charmingly run-down setting — and, ultimately, an irresistible invitation to la vie bohème.”
“I want the petite bourgeoisie to be able to enjoy themselves again, to enjoy a cosy time once more,” Ragnar told the Grapevine last year, in an interview taken alongside Markús Þór Andrésson. “What’s inspiring and great about Iceland is how crazy everything is, all the bourgeoisie paranoia and outbursts… and this isn’t going anywhere. Our true nature has been revealed, and this is exciting.”
*Correction: Grapevine originally reported that the six artworks sold for a total of 120,000 USD. RÚV reported today that this figure is not correct, and that the actual sale total cannot currently be confirmed.