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Desire, Sorrow And New Work At The Modern

Courtesy Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Ragnar Kjartansson and The National "A Lot of Sorrow" 2014
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth has opened a new exhibit of photography and video called Framing Desire
It’s a big show with 115 works by dozens of different artists. It also includes over 40 recent museum acquisitions. Andrea Karnes, curator for The Modern sat down with Jeff Whittington to talk about the show and a few of the new additions to the museum’s collection.

Interview Highlights: Andrea Karnes…

… On the acquisition of over 40 new pieces :

“It is a big deal for the Modern. We started collecting photography before we moved into our new building so that was over twelve years ago. Because we had other things on the agenda in the new building we kind of put photography on the side burner for the last decade. We really didn’t mean to do that, we want to continue to collect photography and video, so we knew it was high-time for another big push so we just wanted to do it in a big way.”

… On the new piece by Candida Höfer:

“It depicts a library in Florence, so it’s basically a place for knowledge and some of the works in that library, some of the books and manuscripts are handwritten manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts. And Höfer really wanted to make this straightforward portrait of the room using the natural light in the room, but in such a way that it’s like a portrait but without a human presence. So it speaks to history, basically the people who have been in that room, the history of knowledge, you know - the history of human knowledge.”

… On the new work by Ragnar Kjartansson and The National:

“Ragnar approached The National and asked them to do a marathon performance of that song, “Sorrow,” repeatedly for six hours straight with an audience... I think of it as the artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s own desire to hear the song over and over on repeat because he can’t get enough of it.”