In association with MusicNow the CAC will present A Lot of Sorrow: the new single-channel video work by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson and the Cincinnati-born band The National. It documents a May 2013 performance of the same name at MoMA PS1’s Sunday Sessions in which The National played their three-minute, twenty-five second song “Sorrow” live on stage, repeatedly and continuously, for six hours. Throughout A Lot of Sorrow, as the hours pass and fatigue sets in, the musicians subtly change and alter the song, experimenting while always keeping the original track recognizable. As the band plays, Kjartansson is often visible in the role of the roadie, periodically getting on stage to tend to the musicians with water and food. Multiple camera angles grant the viewer access to both the perspective of the performers and the audience members, as the band and the crowd feed off each other’s energy with every repetition. Kjartansson’s use of durational, repetitive performance to harness collective emotion is a hallmark of his practice.
A Lot of Sorrow will run in the Black Box Performance space during regular CAC gallery hours.
Ragnar Kjartansson and The National
A Lot of Sorrow, 2013-2014
MoMA PS1, as part of Sunday Sessions.
Photograph by Elisabet Davidsdottir; Image Courtesy of the Artists and Luhring Augustine, New York