A specially designed box contains a series of five books conceived by the New York–based Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone (b. 1964), published over two years to accompany a cycle of exhibitions devoted to works inspired by the color spectrum, with the centerpiece being Vocabulary of Solitude, forty-five life-size sculptures of clowns. With their different postures, the clowns represent activities of everyday life, at the same time expressing the anguish of human solitude: 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.
In the presentations in Miami, Rotterdam, Rome, Cincinnati, and Berkeley, the mannequins’ apparent isolation and introspection triggered extreme audience interaction and engagement. Solitude was defied, if only for a moment.