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Ambitious video installation at UB Art Gallery to feature nine screens

An ambitious, nine-channel video installation by the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson and a crew of collaborators will open Feb. 25 in the University at Buffalo Art Gallery in Amherst.

“The Visitors,” shot in 2012 at a “rambling and slightly decrepit mansion” in Dutchess County, features performers in separate, lushly decorated rooms as they simultaneously sing fragmented song lyrics by Kjartansson’s ex-wife Asdis Sif Gunnarsdottir. The result, according to a statement from UB Art Gallery curator Rachel Adams, is “a 64-minute music video shot in a single take.”

At its heart, she writes, Kjartansson’s work explores the nature of human relationships as well as the sometimes hazy difference between fiction and reality.

“While the musicians are in their own rooms within the sprawling mansion,” Adams writes, “they are ever-present, playing instruments relentlessly, belting out lyrics, and in the end, ejoying the celebration as they exit the house and drift into the landscape, the song lingering as the screens go black.”

At the opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 25, UB Art Gallery will present a new dance piece performed by Deja Stevens and choreographed by Jeanne Fornarola that will take advantage of the high-ceilinged Lightwell Gallery and a thermochromatic bench by artist Sam Falls.

On April 20, Squeaky Wheel will present an hour-long screening called “The Moon Returns at Dawn” featuring work by filmmakers whose motivations and approaches mirror Kjartansson’s. The exhibition runs through May 25. Call 645-6912 or visit ubartgalleries.org.

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