Ragnar Kjartansson returns to Cardiff with “The Sky in a Room”

On Saturday 3rd February Artes Mundi and National Museum Wales opened The Sky in a Room by Ragnar Kjartansson, where a team of seven revolving organists will play and sing the 1960s Italian hit “Il Cielo in una Stanza” (The Sky in a Room) over five weeks on one of Britain’s oldest organs; the Sir Watkin Williams Wynn’s 1774 chamber organ now permanently installed in the National Museum Cardiff’s historic painting galleries. Over five weeks the song will be performed over 3000 times.

The exhibition has already received five stars from The Guardian, who called it “pure magic” and The i newspaper, who described watching the performance at “hypnotic transendence”.

The Sky in a Room, an immersive piece of contemporary art at Cardiff’s National Museum where you can be personally serenaded by Italy’s most famous love song, the song Italians call their “national anthem for love.”

The song, Il Cielo in una Stanza, written by Gino Paoli, is often cited as Italy’s “national anthem for love”, and has featured in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, and covered by Carla Bruni, and also featured in Dolce & Gabbana’s ode to love with Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson.

Ragnar Kjartansson’s smash hit self-titled solo exhibition ran at the Barbican for three months in 2016 and followed his selection for Artes Mundi 6, the UK’s largest contemporary art prize, where he premiered his epic nine-screen video installation ‘The Visitors’ which saw Ragnar playing a guitar in a bath for several hours, for which he was awarded the £30,000 Derek Williams Trust purchase award in 2015.

The Sky in a Room by Ragnar Kjartansson is co-commissioned by Artes Mundi and National Museum Cardiff. At National Museum Cardiff until 11th March. For more information please visit here.

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