The film burn to shine, presented at LOOP 2023, features 12 percussionists and 18 male and female dancers gathered around a fire in the desert. Combining an ancestral trance from the Maghreb with the gestures of a contemporary dance conceived with the help of Franco-Moroccan choreographer Fouad Boussouf, they unite with nature from sunset until dawn, when the sun rises again. The diurnal rhythms, the five basic elements of nature, natural phenomena and the conditions of human existence are recurring themes in Rondinone’s œuvre.
As the artist noted in 2022, “The initial inspiration for the work is from a poem by John Giorno: You Got to Burn to Shine, which itself comes from a Buddhist saying describing the coexistence of life and death. This is similar to the much older Greek myth of the phoenix, the immortal bird that cyclically regenerates. According to the legend, a phoenix lived for 500 years. Just before its time was up the phoenix built a nest and set itself on fire. Then at sunrise a new phoenix arose from the ashes.”
This work is one of six individual single-channel films, all titled burn to shine, intermixed from the six-channel installation with the same title is currently on view at the Fosun Foundation, Shanghai, and premiered at Ugo Rondinone’s solo exhibition at Petit Palais, Paris, in 2022.
LOOP Fair 2023
Solo presentation by Ugo Rondinone
619-621, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes
November 21 – 23, 2023
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