Destined to be hung in front of a window and lit by natural light, it evokes a pre-mechanical age, when the sun’s path through the sky was the only way for human beings to measure the passage of time. Encouraging us to reconsider our conception of time and inducing us to become aware of the ephemeral nature of existence, this clock acts like an open window on an immobilised temporality, which refuses to be subjected to the hectic rhythm of our contemporary lives.
The medium used – glass – is justified by its ability to let light pass through it, but also recalls the traditional and ancestral technique of stained glass. As though to better shield himself from passing time, and driven by a certain disposition towards nostalgia, Ugo Rondinone likes to turn to the past, to return to antiquated practices and materials no longer in use. The notion of temporality holds a dominating place in his oeuvre, while playing an ambivalent role. Although Rondinone likes to evoke the idea of abstract time, he nevertheless remains very attached to real time, to lived time, constantly attempting to capture the fleetingness of existence and to make the instant become material. Often connected to a precise day in his own life, his artworks make up the memories of an artist concerned with leaving a trace behind him.