Stuart Ringholt: Time pressures

Untitled (Clock) (2014) by the Perth-born, Melbourne-based artist Stuart Ringholt is modelled on an antique mantelpiece clock, stands three metres high, and completes a minute in forty-five seconds. I’ve only ever experienced the work as part of Today Tomorrow Yesterday: the almost absurdly lazy four-year-long exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, on show to July 2020. Because of the sculpture’s prominence in a show catering mostly to drop-by tourists wandering around Circular Quay, I usually see the work incidentally, on my way to other shows in the same building. In my mind, at least until the exhibition closes later this year, Ringholt’s clock is a permanent public-art object, heavy with everyday context yet recurrently passing its 18-hour days as if in a zone of its own. With its present yet-alien headspace, Untitled (Clock) can’t help but invoke the artist himself, whose idiosyncrasies, however amiable, have been noted by just about every writer or curator who has worked with him.

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