The End1998-201411 x 14 glass hologram set
Ed Ruscha is one of the most distinguished American artists due in part for his explorations of the symbols of Americana and the relationship between language and art. The End is a cinematic theme that the artist used in the 1990s and 2000s, appearing in paintings, prints, and drawings – notably the 1991 large-scale painting at the Museum of Modern Art. Addressing the passage of time and obsolescence, Ruscha makes use of an antiquated typeface and an old cinematic tradition of using text in film. The concept of ephemerality is enhanced by the words themselves, The End, and the nature of the medium itself; considered futuristic when it was developed in the 1960s, the laser technology for holograms also creates a sense of impermanence as the images change with the viewer’s movement. While there is innate movement in the shifting words and images, these holograms also represent a full stop – a transitory moment frozen in time.