A Lot of Sorrow
September 9, 2014 at 6:40 am #14665
September 11 – December 21, 2014
Luhring Augustine is please to present the premiere of “A Lot of Sorrow”, a new single-channel video work by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson and American band The National. This is Kjartansson’s third exhibition with the gallery, and his first show at Luhring Augustine Bushwick.
The six-hour video “A Lot of Sorrow” was filmed during a performance of the same name that was conceived by Kjartansson and executed by The National. For this event, part of MoMA PS1’s “Sunday Sessions” in May 2013, The National played their three-minute, twenty-five second song “Sorrow” live on stage, repeatedly and continuously, for six hours.
“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 Weltschmerz – themes Kjartansson often addresses in his own practice. Kjartansson’s works are connected through their pathos and humor, with each deeply influenced by the comedy and tragedy of classical theater. The artist’s use of durational, repetitive performance to harness collective emotion is a hallmark of his practice.
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.
Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976) lives and works in Reykjavík. He has had solo exhibitions at institutions including the New Museum, New York, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, the Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Hangar Biococca, Milan, Frankfurter Kunstverein, and the BAWAG Contemporary, Vienna. “Song”, Kjartansson’s first American solo museum show, was organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art in 2011, and traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. The artist received 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. Kjartnasson recently participated in “The Encyclopedic Palace” at the 55th Venice Biennale and will perform in October 2014 as part of Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
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. “Mistaken For Strangers”, a documentary featuring The National, opened the 2013 TriBeCa Film Festival. The band recently released their highly anticipated sixth album, Trouble Will Find Me, which received widespread critical acclaim and was included on “albums of the year” lists by Pitchfork Media and Rolling Stone.
“Sunday Sessions” was organized by Jenny Schlenzka, Associate Curator with Mike Skinner, Producer, and Alex Sloane, VW Fellow and was 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.
Is there any chance this will be released digitally one day?
I would pay anything just to see it in its entirety.September 9, 2014 at 11:43 pm #14671
From their semi recent Reddit AMA…
“Yes, I believe there is a vinyl box set in the works to be sold for charity. I believe Ragnar’s filmed art piece has begun to be shown in museums. -Matt”December 17, 2014 at 7:47 am #14866
here you go:
warning: it is much better than you would expect.April 9, 2015 at 2:55 pm #15014
I think you were right. Here is the official pre-order for this:
http://alotofsorrow.com/April 9, 2015 at 8:51 pm #15015
Too rich for my bloodApril 9, 2015 at 9:40 pm #15016
It’s tempting…but $200 + shipping is pretty steep. I’m kinda hoping it sells out in a few days so I can’t buy it.April 12, 2015 at 4:44 pm #15017
Famous Blue RaincoatParticipant
Does anyone know how many copies of this are actually being made?
Might get it as a collector’s item… can’t really imagine playing it much.May 30, 2015 at 3:55 pm #15057
It will be limited to 1500 copies – http://thelimitedpress.com/the-national-sorrow-4ad-ltd-to-1500/
<div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>Famous Blue Raincoat wrote:</div>Does anyone know how many copies of this are actually being made?
Might get it as a collector’s item… can’t really imagine playing it much.June 22, 2015 at 7:42 pm #15085June 22, 2015 at 8:33 pm #15086
Does anyone know if there is a digital download somewhere? I know it says that the purchased box won’t include a digital download but maybe you can buy and download it seperately?June 23, 2015 at 5:44 am #15088
Well, I don’t think so and it’s a pity.June 23, 2015 at 4:40 pm #15089
Maybe we’ll find someone you makes a Vinyl-Rip of it? 😀June 23, 2015 at 8:16 pm #15090
Is anyone able to do so around here? 😀June 29, 2015 at 3:49 pm #15096
Does anyone have it yet?July 3, 2015 at 4:28 am #15100
I got back from a trip to the box. It’s impressively packaged, with one notable flaw – the plastic case is really thin gauge. The nine platters (180g by the feel) are really heavy, and there is no way in regular use that the case could really be practical. Worse, it literally cracked as I was removing it from the packing. I’m a graphic designer and used to tricky packing and case design, and this was not a case of me being sloppy. I emailed 4AD but haven’t heard back (two days). I don’t expect an RMA, and I don’t even care much about the collector value (I was happy to contribute money to the non-profit) but I’m a little annoyed that I don’t have a practical way to store nine loose, basically unlabeled discs (they do have individual sleeves that are better than are pretty heavy). I’m not likely to be confused about what they are until I hit my dotage, but I also hate complex packing that fails.
I haven’t had a chance to listen because the box went to my office and I’m waiting to see if 4AD has anything useful to say. Aside from the case issues, the rest of the design and production is great. My best hope is that this happens enough that they come up with some alternate packaging (hell, I’d pay for a decent paperboard box) for those who encounter this.
So if you are waiting for yours, BE CAREFUL HANDLING. Will report back when I actually get it home.
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