THANX 4 NOTHING
Thanx 4 nothing is a multi-channel video installation that pays tribute to Ugo Rondinone’s late husband, John Giorno. The work presents the American poet, in a suit and bare feet on the empty stage of the Palais des Glaces theatre in Paris, performing the titular poem. Written on his seventieth birthday in 2006, and framed as an extended and wide-ranging expression of gratitude to ‘everyone for everything,’ Giorno’s poetic monologue looks back over his life with frank insight and humour, reflecting on loves and losses, friends and enemies, sex and drugs, depression and spiritual acceptance. (Ralph Rugoff, Hayward Gallery, 2016).
The installation in STUK presents the work as a dual-screen installation in a black box theater, creating an immersive environment through the use of black-and-white film, minimalist score, and the rhythmic intonations of Giorno’s own voice. It is a space to linger in, and enjoy this remarkable personal narrative, which at the same time provides a very particular insight into the New York art scene of the past few decades.
2015 – 16:9, 2 screens, stereo sound, 24:14
Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery
°1964, Brunnen, Switzerland
The work of Ugo Rondinone can be understood as a meditation on everyday life and the world. A variety of motives recur in his practice that exists in painting, drawing, sculpture , photography, video, and sound and installation art. Avoiding a densely intellectual approach, he prefers to emphasize the creation of engagement through the experience of his work.
Rondinone has been the subject of recent institutional exhibitions at: SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, Norway in 2021; Medellín Museum of Modern Art, Colombia; Kunsthalle Helsinki, Finland; and Guild Hall, East Hampton, New York in 2019; Fundación Casa Wabi, Puerto Escondido, Mexico; Arken Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj, Denmark; and Tate Liverpool, UK in 2018; Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow in 2017; and Carre d’Art, Nîmes, France; Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, NL; and The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, US in 2016.
In 2013, Rondinone installed “human nature”, an exhibition of nine monumental stone figures in Rockefeller Plaza, New York, organized by Public Art Fund. In 2016, Rondinone’s large-scale public work seven magic mountains opened outside Las Vegas, co-produced by the Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art. In 2017, Rondinone curated a city-wide exhibition, “Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno,” which honored the artist’s life partner in thirteen non-profit art institutions throughout Manhattan.
Ugo Rondinone lives and works in New York. He is represented by Gladstone Gallery, Esther Schipper, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Sadie Coles, Kukje Gallery and Galerie Kamel Mennour.