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The National Play MOMA Exhibit as a Live Exhibition: The Song Sorrow Over and Over Again

By: Spacelab Research Staff
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May 6, 2013
The National played their MOMA show in New York over the weekend, playing the song "Sorrow" ongoing for six hours. Anyone who's been to a museum or art gathering is probably familiar with the idea of an art installation, which sometimes include video loops or audio loops. You come in, sometimes in the middle of the loop, and stay until you hit the point where you originally came in. Or you watch a number of times to gain the nuances of exhibit.

The National's gig at MOMA was like a live example of that idea. The gig was A Lot of Sorrow, by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson, who commisioned The National to play as part of the exhibit. "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," reads the MOMA website.

Check out the performance above, or at least eight and a half minutes of it. Sitting through the whole thing would be like watching Andy Warhol's five-hour film Sleep in one sitting.

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