Time and Place

Richard Wentworth (1947 - )

1945 Italian/German dictionary and modern Swiss watches


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  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    Past and present intersect in Time and Place, a sculpture-assemblage by Richard Wentworth consisting of two modern Swiss Railways watches placed within the pages of an Italian-German dictionary. Displaying the real time of their current location, the watches literally represent the here and now. Yet their incision into an Italian-German dictionary published in 1945, lends the sculpture a historical patina. The watches are based on the original design for The Swiss Railways Clock, invented by engineer, Hans Hilfiker in 1944. Switzerland is famous for its political neutrality – it has not entered into war since 1815. Its neutrality during the Second World War contrasted with German and Italian domination of Western Europe. 

    Transforming household and found objects, Wentworth’s sculptures, installations and photographs explore games, language and chance. His art derives from a boundless fascination with the everyday world. Ladders propped up against walls, merchandise in a shop window or random scenes spotted on a car journey – such events provide him with a rich source of inspiration. If his practice can be defined, it is in the way that he takes unremarkable objects and creates assemblages that convey monumental themes, from human relationships, to history to language.

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  • Details
    Time and Place
    1945 Italian/German dictionary and modern Swiss watches
    width: 36.00 cm, height: 10.50 cm, depth: 15.00 cm
    Purchased from Lisson Gallery, November 2005
    Lisson Gallery, London
    GAC number