Paul Ramírez Jonas
Artist in the Public Realm

Pause and Play, 2000


MATERIALS: Alarm clock, cymbal, tambourine made of cafe "El Pico", red bass drum, brown snare drum, blue snare drum, pumpkin pie can with whistle, silver bucket with a white flag.

    Pause and Playis an elaborate cu-cu clock. Upon entering its space the viewer is confronted by an alarm clock counting down (never more than ten minutes).  When the countdown reaches zero, the band plays a fractured march for about a minute. Once it is done playing, a new random time is displayed on the alarm clock, and the countdown begins again. The resulting situation is one of anticipation for an event, which although pleasurable, is altogether predictable. Furthermore, the clock is not to be trusted. It slowly shifts its speed from 30% slower to 30% faster. Since we lack an organ for time, this difference is hard to detect. As usual, the rate at which time passes remains subjective.
Waiting for the band to play is about the future. In contrast, the marching band is usually a form for commemoration, observance and remembrance.