Ugo Rondinone
_clockwork for oracles_ 2011
AGNSW collection

Ugo Rondinone

clockwork for oracles


Many of the works by this Swiss-born New York-based artist explore the idea of time and its passing.

The references to time in this work start with the title. The work itself is made up of 52 coloured rectangles, which correspond to the number of weeks in the year or an entire annual cycle. The newsprint used to paper the wall also invokes a specific time – the date on which the newspaper was printed. The artist does not control this process, leaving it to the installation team to choose the paper themselves.

The work was made specifically for this site in the Gallery and the artist sees it as 'an open field for things to happen'. Although the work itself is passive, it becomes active when visitors move in front of it. With these windows (which are actually mirrors covered with coloured gel), instead of looking out at something, we are reflected back at ourselves. It is this sense of personal reflection along with the references to time passing that might start us thinking about mortality and the finite nature of things.

mirror, colour plastic gel, wood, paint, mixed media, 964 x 746 cm, John Kaldor Family Collection at the Art Gallery of NSW© the artist L2011.81