Organised in collaboration with Frahm & Frahm, ARKEN Museum presents Ugo Rondinone’s celebrated Vocabulary of Solitude (2014-16), an installation of 45 hyperrealistic clowns, installed in ARKEN’s 150-metre-long Art Axis. They are individually titled in the present tense: be. breathe. sleep. dream. wake. rise. sit. hear. look. think. stand. walk. pee. shower. dress. drink. fart. shit. read. laugh. cook. smell. taste. eat. clean. write. daydream. remember. cry. nap. touch. feel. moan. enjoy. float. love. hope. wish. sing. dance. fall. curse. yawn. undress. lie. Each clown is a stand-in for one of these actions.
Ugo Rondinone’s work oscillates between the romantic outlook of the natural world and the existential introspection of the inner world. He plays on our intuitive and impulsive recognition of motifs like a clown, a tree or a rainbow. Alongside Vocabulary of Solitude, the exhibition at ARKEN includes Rondinone’s signature white enameled cast of an olive tree – Wind Moon (2011) – along with motifs such as a rainbow and a technicolour window that re-occur in Rondinone’s practice. The rainbow in particular primarily signals beauty, emancipation and innocence, as well as a fundamental political story of personal freedom.
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