Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone created this work in the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, USA, on the Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall – which is dedicated to site-specific works by leading contemporary artists, commissioned annually. This work, which was actually his third installation in the lobby, combined “an irreverent pop sensibility with a deeply introspective tone” and was n display in 2010. The dynamic installation covered the wall with 52 mirrored glass windows in a rainbow of colors and variety of sizes, and was set against a backdrop of white-washed pages from The Boston Globe. The window frames, fashioned out of recycled barn wood painted gray, contrasted with the sleekness of the mirrored glass window panes.
Rondinone’s titles are often inspired by literature, popular music, and poetry. The title for this project, clockwork for oracles, is taken from a poem by Edmond Jabès, a writer known for his meditations on exile and Judaism. In Rondinone’s words, Jabès’s poetry reveals “a mystical attention to religious experience coupled with a real engagement with daily human conditions.” This intersection of the divine and the mundane is echoed in Rondinone’s work, itself a study in contrasts. Clockwork for oracles asked the viewers to slow down and contemplate the nature of time, while also inviting to enjoy its playful sensory delight.