The exhibition “breathe walk die”, conceived by Ugo Rondinone for the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM), Shanghai, conspicuously displays color in excess. The artist responded to the sheer verticality of the architecture at RAM with an unexpected horizon wall painting series entitled sunrisesunset. From the first to the fifth floor, an exceptional spectrum of sprayed colors blanket the gallery walls in their entirety. Each floor exhibits two to three gradations of color, from the white-green-blue sunrisesunset I in the lobby, to green-blue-violet sunrisesunset II, then blue violet-pink sunrisesunset III, to violet-pink-red sunrisesunset IV, and finally to red-yellow sunrisesunset V.
Ugo Rondinone started making horizon wall paintings in 1998 with one yellow color field surrounding the lower part of the gallery walls, then in 2001 with one large blue color. Ugo Rondinone started making horizon wall paintings in 1998 with one yellow color field surrounding the lower part of the gallery wall, then in 2001 with one large blue color between architecture and horizon paintings creates unlimited spaces in which the references to panorama and landscape are subverted as extensions rather than as frontiers and delimitations.
Vocabulary of Solitude
be. breathe. sleep. dream. move. wake. rise. sit.
look. sneeze. think. stand. walk. fart. pee. shower.
dress. drink. smoke. shit. read. remember. laugh.
cry. write. cook. smell. taste. eat. clean. rest.
touch. wank. feel. enjoy. float. sing. dance. love.
hate. wish. hope. yawn. undress. lay.
Even if they
are totally passive, the clowns hold this incredible
power of naming and acting. The clowns have
definitively quit the real and somehow codified world,
and have entered a free dream-like journey. This is
also powerfully indicated by one pair of blue clown
shoes hung on the wall at the entrance of the
museum, titled no one’s voice.
The clowns are in the exhibition to act through
non-action and passivity: they are lying down,
sleeping, meditating, and dreaming.
It is truly disturbing to see the clowns with activities
opposite to the ones they are supposed to have:
entertaining with spectacular gestures, laughs, and
facial expressions. Peggy Phelan, one of the most
respected art historians and theorists specializing
in performance art, defined the ontology of
performance by linking together the linguistic
statement to the bodily act arising in performance.
Curated by Larys Frogier