May 3, 2013 - MoMA PS1 - Ragnar Kjartansson
May 3, 2013

Ragnar Kjartansson

Ragnar Kjartansson, A Lot of Sorrow, 2013. Sketch, ink and watercolour on paper. Courtesy of Luhring Augustine, New York and I8 Gallery, Reykjavík.

Sunday Sessions season finale with performance by Ragnar Kjartansson featuring The National
Sunday, May 5, 2013, noon–6pm

The VW Dome at MoMA PS1
22-25 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
Purchase tickets

In celebration of this season’s last Sunday Sessions, MoMA PS1 presents the durational performance A Lot of Sorrow by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson. For this new work, Kjartansson sought out US rock band The National to perform their song Sorrow repeatedly in a six-hour live loop. By stretching a single pop song into a day-long tour de force, the artist continues his explorations into the potential of repetitive performance to produce sculptural presence within sound.

Sorrow found me when I was young, 
Sorrow waited, sorrow won

commences the song by The National, whose music and lyrics repeatedly conjure notions of romantic suffering and contemporary Weltschmerz—themes Kjartansson often uses in his own work employing  references as wide-ranging as Ingmar Bergman, the German Romantics, and Elvis Presley. As in all of Kjartansson’s performances, the idea behind A Lot of Sorrow is devoid of irony, yet full of humor and emotion. It constitutes another quest to find the comic in the tragic and vice versa.

The performance/installation will take place in the VW Dome and courtyard at MoMA PS1. Entry to the courtyard is general admission, but space in the VW Dome is very limited (first come, first served).

About Ragnar Kjartansson
Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976) lives and works in Reykjavík. His recent solo exhibitions have been held at the Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Frankfurter Kunstverein, and the BAWAG Contemporary in Vienna. Song, his first American solo museum show, was organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art in 2011, and has since traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Kjartansson was the recipient of Performa’s 2011 Malcolm McLaren Award for his performance of Bliss, and in 2009 he was the youngest artist to represent Iceland at the Venice Biennale’s International Art Exhibition. Ragnar Kjartansson is represented by Luhring Augustine, New York and Galleri i8, Reykjavik.

About The National
Formed in 1999, The National consists of vocalist Matt Berninger fronting two pairs of brothers: Aaron (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and Scott (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). Their first full-lengths, The National and Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers preceded their signing to Beggars Banquet in 2004. Alligator (2005) raised their profile as The National grew into an incendiary live band. Boxer (2007) sold over three times as many copies as its predecessor and saw them transformed from underground stars into a rock institution. High Violet (2010), released on 4AD, brought the band global critical and commercial success. Most recently, a documentary featuring The National titled Mistaken For Strangers opened the 2013 TriBeCa Film Festival. The band is gearing up to release their highly anticipated sixth album, Trouble Will Find Me, out May 21.

The VW Dome at MoMA PS1 is made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen of America.

Sunday Sessions is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.

Sunday Sessions is organized by Jenny Schlenzka, Associate Curator with Mike Skinner, Producer and Alex Sloane, VW Fellow.

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