On and Off


Silkscreen and phosphorent inks on two vintage movie screens

Screen: 76 x 101.5 cm (29 15/16 x 39 15/16 in.) Screen: 101.5 x 127 cm (39 15/16 x 50 in.)

On and Off is an installation/slide show exploring the transmission of knowledge in an era of omnipresent images. Allen Ruppersberg uses a medium already outdated by digital technology to question the relationship between memory, technology and the idea of planned obsolescence.

The slides are taken from the credits of a short film on mnemonics. The slide asks, “How to remember?” Ruppersberg turns this technical question into a metaphysical one: how can knowledge be transmitted if its medium disappears? The American artist prompts viewers to reflect on the knowledge and values that society conveys while questioning the culture of ephemeral entertainment.

Allen Ruppersberg's installation On and Off was presented by the Pinault Collection for the first time in 2008 at the Tri Postal in Lille during the “Passage du temps” (“Passage of Time”) exhibition.