Ragnar Kjartansson’s nine-channel video installation “The Visitors” plays in the University at Buffalo Art Gallery through May 14.
At UB, ‘The Visitors’ is a warm invitation into art world by Colin Dabkowski.
For some, the prospect of devoting 64 minutes to a piece of video art holds about the same appeal as getting a cavity filled.
The investment-to-reward ratio for such demanding work, much of which can be wildly esoteric, self-serious or otherwise inaccessible to the point of total numbness, has been fairly low for all but the most committed devotees of the form.
Which is why “The Visitors,” Ragnar Kjartansson’s moving and visually stunning hourlong music video now playing on nine screens in the University at Buffalo Art Gallery, is probably not on the top of most moviegoers’ lists, if it is on their list at all. But it should be.
The piece, which has collected accolades from the art world and far beyond since it was filmed on a gorgeous Hudson Valley estate in 2012, is an addictive and at points transcendent argument to give video art another shot. For those with more patience than the average American cinema fan, the work is a powerful affirmation of the form’s power and a hint at its potential as technology finally catches up with the imaginations of artists.
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