Ugo Rondinone (Bilingual edition)

the water is a poem unwritten by the air no. the earth is a poem unwritten by the fire



ISBN: 9783775756426 Category:


You Got to Burn to Shine

Ugo Rondinone’s 2022 exhibition ‘the water is a poem unwritten by the air / no. the earth is a poem unwritten by the fire’ at the Petit Palais in Paris explores the theme of transformation.

Ugo Rondinone presents three ensembles of sculptures and a monumental video installation. Earth, sky, air, water and fire are invoked in the fullness of their spiritual dimension. Under the museum’s painted ceilings, the first ensemble welcomes visitors in a farandole of suspended bodies painted in a clouded sky camouflage, underlining the ephemeral melding of air and water. A second ensemble is composed of seated sculptures of dancers at rest made from a blend of wax and earth collected from seven continents. The centerpiece artwork titled burn to shine, is a film installation presented in a monumental charred wood cylinder. The artwork depicts bodies coming together throughout movement, with dancers and musicians gathered around a fire in the desert from sunset to sunrise. In echo with John Giorno’s poem titled You Got To Burn To Shine.

This catalogue is a unique document of the dialogue between Rondinone’s works confronted with the museum’s architecture and its collections.

Additional information

Weight 1102 g
Dimensions 24.7 x 31.5 cm
Publisher name Hatje Cantz Verlag
Publication date 25 March 2024
Number of pages 128
Format Hardback
Contributors Text by Juliette Singer and Erik Verhagen
Dimensions 24.7 x 31.5 cm
Weight 1102 g


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UGO RONDINONE (*1964, Brunnen, Switzerland) is recognized as one of the major voices of his generation, an artist who composes searing meditations on nature and the human condition while establishing an organic formal vocabulary in sculpture, painting, video, and performance. The New York-based artist borrows from ancient and modern cultural sources; his works exude pathos and humor, going straight to the heart of the most pressing issues of our time.