Ragnar Kjartanssons ‘never-ending lullaby’ to be performed in Milan church in aid of coronavirus sufferers

The Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartanssons powerful performance piece Il Cielo in Una Stanza (The Sky in a Room) will be presented next month in a church in Milan, marking “the painful months spent imagining the sky in a room” during the coronavirus lockdown, say the project organisers.

The work— first seen in the Artes Mundi show held at the National Museum Wales in Cardiff in 2018—will be staged at the church of San Carlo al Lazzaretto from 22 September to 25 October. Professional singers will take turns to perform an “ethereal arrangement” of the Italian composer Gino Paolis 1960 song Il Cielo in Una Stanza accompanied by the church organ.

Interior view of the San Carlo al Lazzaretto, Milan

The Milan iteration “was conceived in the wake of the difficult lockdown affecting the public and private lives of millions of Italians—especially the citizens of Lombardy”, says the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, which is behind the project. According to the organisations social media posts, the piece is still scheduled to launch next month.

The song's lyrics touch on the themes of solitude, isolation and ultimately togetherness: “When you are here with me/This room doesnt have walls anymore/But trees/infinite trees.” The piece will be repeated, uninterruptedly, for six hours a day, every day, “like a never-ending lullaby,” the foundation adds. Massimiliano Gioni, the artistic director at the New Museum in New York, is the project curator.

“I love how [Il Cielo in Una Stanza] describes the power of the imagination, put on fire by love, to transform the world around us. It is a poem about how love and music can make a small confined space explode, letting in the sky and the trees,” Kjartansson says in a statement.

The Sky in a Room is a perpetual, drawn-out moment. You come, you go, attention drifts and returns. Over the months you can keep checking in, and checking out the eRead More – Source