Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson draws on the histories of film, music, theatre, visual culture and literature to develop video installations, durational performances, drawing and painting.
This project, a collaboration with Artes Mundi (Cardiff), involves musicians taking turns to perform an ethereal arrangement of ‘Il Cielo in una Stanza’, the famous love song by Gino Paoli, originally released in 1960. Accompanied by the church organ, the piece will be repeated, uninterruptedly, for five hours a day for several days, like a never-ending rosary of love and spatial transformation.
Kjartansson’s works are characterised by a profound sense of melancholy which could not be more appropriate for St Mary Magdalene, Tanworth-in-Arden, the place where singer-songwriter Nick Drake is buried. This quintessentially English church, in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside, is the third setting for The Sky in a Room, following on from the Church of San Carlo al Lazzaretto, Milan (2020) and the National Museum Cardiff (2018).
Musicians: Alicia Achaques, Patrick Bridgeman, Samantha Cobb, Sophie Fetokaki and Francesco Leineri.
The Sky in a Room, 2018
Performer, organ and the song “Il Cielo in una Stanza” by Gino Paoli (1960)
Commissioned by Artes Mundi and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and acquired with the support of the Derek Williams Trust and Art Fund.
Recorded during the performance at the National Museum in Cardiff 3. February – 11. March 2018, performance by Sophie Fetokaki and Sam Roberts.
Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik.
Performance times, 2-7pm every day.
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