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The Sky in a Room – an Italian pop song is a contemporary visual poem

Fondazione Nicola Trussardi unveiled the project The Sky in a Room by the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson at San Carlo al Lazzaretto, Milan

Drawing inspiration from the lockdown and its effects on Italy’s public and private lives, the installation intends to ignite dialogue with both the distant and recent past of the city of Milan. The Sky in a Room is presented for the church of San Carlo al Lazzaretto in Milan. Initiated by president Beatrice Trussardi and Artistic Director Massimiliano Gioni, the project release marks the eighteenth year of the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi activities. 

With his parents being active in theatre and music, the artist grew up in a creative and musical environment. Kjartansson undertook a career as a musician with various groups such as Kanada, Kósý, and Trabant, playing in Iceland and internationally. Since 2007, he had dedicated his time to the visual arts, but his relationship with music and theater remains a reference aspect in his works. Interpreted as forms of meditation and reflection, musical phrases are transformed into litanies and mantras. The repetition of sounds and gestures is a core element in Kjartansson’s compositions and choreographies. His work spans over a range of presentation channels, alternating between video, performance, music, and painting being united by a sense of melancholy. Often inspired by the twentieth-century traditions of Nordic theater and literature, he embraces references that may be traced back to the creations of Tove Janson, Halldór Laxness, Edvard Munch, and August Strindberg, among others. 

The Sky in a Room Ragnar Kjartansson Image Chiara Adele Ruozzo 1 5
THE SKY IN A ROOM – RAGNAR KJARTANSSON, IMAGE CHIARA ADELE RUOZZO

The Sky in a Room is the outcome of a series of projects carried out since 2013. Spanning from temporary shows and incursions to performances and pop-up interventions, the project unites artists such as Ibrahim Mahama, Jeremy Deller, Sarah Lucas, Gelitin, Darren Bader, and Stan VanDerBeek in the city of Milan. It acts as a performance initially commissioned by Artes Mundi and the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. The Sky in a Room is arranged in the church of San Carlo al Lazzaretto and will be accompanied by the church’s organ. Singers perform an arrangement of the 1960 released song Il Cielo in una Stanza, by Gino Paoli. The piece will be played for six hours a day. 

Il Cielo in una Stanza is an Italian pop song that could be read as a poem: it tells how love and music can make a confined space explode, letting in the sky and the trees. Undertaken by the Foundation in 2003, it continues to bring contemporary art into the heart of the city of Milan, rediscovering and reappraising forgotten or unusual venues. Fondazione Nicola Trussardi is a private, non-profit institution, founded in Milan in 1996. It is held on the patronage of its founding members and that of sponsors who support their projects.

IMAGE GALLERY

Fondazione Nicola Trussardi
The Sky in a Room
Chiesa di San Carlo al Lazzaretto
Largo Fra Paolo Bellintani, 1
20124 Milano MI

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