Ugo Rondinone


Ugo Rondinone is working on an installation, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, that will ultimately occupy three rooms of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. The piece consists of a sign in the shape of a rainbow, two abstract "paintings" made of lights, a white rubberized dance floor, and three clowns (one of which you see here). Sounds like fun, no? Except for the fact that Rondinone's six-foot-tall, 400-pound clowns, cast from the bodies of men he found on a gay website, are not in the least bit funny or entertaining. They don't tumble out of a car, or squirt water from fake boutonnieres, or make balloon animals like normal clowns do. These clowns just lie around. Doing nothing. As if they were on strike- or a really (really) long cigarette break. The onus to provide entertainment is on the audience itself. Clowns, says Rondinone, are his alter ego and the alter ego of artists in general. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye is a piece about passivity, a Samuel Beckett kind of atmosphere. Waiting around for something to happen. Or not. -Alix Browne