Ugo Rondinone
The Twelfth Hour of the Poem, 2006
Ugo Rondinone (1964)
The Twelfth Hour of the Poem , 2006
Wax and pigments
140 x 82 x 82 cm

Poet, collector and curator, Ugo Rondinone produces artworks that defy narrow definitions or labels. His practice delves into the nature of dreams and time, as well as exploring the human condition—themes that unfold in paintings, drawings, sculptures photography, video and installations. The 12th Hour of the Poem is part of a series of twenty-four, in reference to the number of hours in a day. These over-sized wax cast lightbulbs come from a larger project, The Night of Lead, which takes its name from the novel Die Nacht aus Blei by the German Expressionist writer Hans Henny Jahn. This kind of large-scale, mixed-media installation depicts the path of someone who wanders alone through a city at night. In the book, during his stroll the man encounters a younger version of himself about to die. His adult self-guides his younger self until, with the arrival of the dawn, the latter dies. This melancholic plot is loosely reflected in Rondinone’s staging consisting of trees, mirrors, windows, doors, masks, clowns and light bulbs such as this one which do not cast but their shadow.

Image: Courtesy of the artist