Cisternerne - start again the lament

Start Again the Lament - Cisternerne presents the work of Taryn Simon

Photo: Mark Tanggaard

This spring, the underground museum Cisternerne presents an extensive sound installation by the American artist Taryn Simon. Utilizing Cisternerne’s unique space and architecture, Start Again the Lament explores how we mourn individually and collectively in sonic rituals.

In Start Again, the Lament Cisternerne becomes an instrument echoing recitations of loss with a reverberation of 17 seconds as Taryn Simon broadcasts the lamentations of professional mourners. The public is pulled through Cisternerne by lamentations sonically pushing against its walls in cacophony and silence, and as sound and visiting bodies move through repeating archways, the installation merges darkness and light, absence and presence, singular loss, and its exponential multiplication.

Integrating the sonic rituals of professional mourners with the architecture and reverberating acoustics of Cisternerne, Start Again the Lament examines how we repeatedly navigate grief and who we choose to guide us through it. Here, professional mourners are granted authority and solicited by the bereaved to occupy, negotiate, and shape their experience of loss. These sonic rituals of grief include northern Albanian laments, Wayuu laments, Greek Epirotic laments, and Yazidi laments. In the act of lament, discontent is publicly performed.

Cisternerne - start again the lament
Photo: Mark Tanggaard
Cisternerne - start again the lament
Photo: Mark Tanggaard

About the artist

Taryn Simon (b. 1975) is a multidisciplinary artist working in photography, text, sculpture, and performance – often in combination. Through her artistic practice, Simon directs our gaze towards hidden or inaccessible systems, revealing underlying structures and how these influence our behaviour.

Start Again the Lament is a new sonic work arising from the acclaimed performance installation of An Occupation of Loss at Park Avenue Armory, New York, 2016, and in the cavernous concrete space below Islington Green, London, 2018, presented by Artangel. Laments from Quarantine, 2020, compiled by the artist and produced by Artangel, is a collection of video recordings made by collaborating artists during the pandemic.


Photo:Mark Tanggaard

Facts about Cisternerne

  • Special exhibition from March 17th until November 30th, 2023.
  • Located under the ground of Søndermarken park in Frederiksberg.
  • A disused water reservoir built in 1856-59.
  • The water reservoir stopped being in use in 1933 and stood untouched until 1996.
  • Every year Cisternerne invites an internationally renowned artist or architect to create an exhibition.
  • This year it is the multidisciplinary American artist Taryn Simon who is exhibiting.
  • An urban dripstone cave with a unique climate.
  • Spans over 4.320 m2.
  • Opened as an art gallery as part of Frederiksbergmuseerne in 2013.
  • The ticket price is 115 DKK for an adult.
  • 175 DKK for a Frederiksberg Museum Pass to access all four museums located in Frederiksberg.
  • Included in the Copenhagen card.
Giuseppe Liverino

Senior Manager - Press & PR