MoMA PS1
Ragnar Kjartansson featuring The National, 2013, at MoMA PS1 as part of VW Sunday Sessions. © 2013 MoMA PS1, New York. Photo: Charles Roussel

Ragnar Kjartansson presents A Lot of Sorrow featuring The National
12:00–6:00 p.m. · VW Dome

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 the original 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 is another quest to find the comic in the tragic and vice versa.

MoMA PS1’s acclaimed VW Sunday Sessions performance series welcomes visitors to experience and participate in live art. Since its founding in 1976, MoMA PS1 has offered audiences one of the most extensive programs of live performance in the world. VW Sunday Sessions highlights artists responding to contemporary social and political issues through a wide variety of creative and critical lenses. Encompassing performance, music, dance, conversation, and film, the series develops and presents projects by established and emerging artists, scholars, activists, and other cultural instigators. With a focus on artists that blur and break traditional genre boundaries, VW Sunday Sessions embraces the communities in New York City that create and sustain artistic practice.

Since 2012, VW Sunday Sessions has presented a commissioning program resulting in new work by Trajal Harrell, Mårten Spångberg, Anne Imhof, Tobias Madison and Matthew Lutz Kinoy, Hannah Black, and Colin Self. Additionally, the VW Dome Artist Residency offers a platform for creative development and experimentation for artists at all stages of the creative process.

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

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

This performance is part of VW Sunday Sessions.