Ever Since Night Falls (On Kawara’s Briefcase (1979), 2019

wood and paint, 42 × 60 × 9 cm.

Between 1968 and 1979, Japanese conceptual artist On Kawar sent postcards to friends, family and colleagues which were stamped with the phrase “I GOT UP AT”, followed by the time he woke up. The postcards were always arranged in the same way, the only difference in text being the time, date and addresses. Similar to his Date Paintings, monochromatic canvases with painted dates on them, each work had to be completed the day it was started, otherwise it would be destroyed by the artist. Missing dates therefore indicated a rupture in continuity, inevitably bringing to mind the artist’s own mortality and the arbitrariness of life. The I Got Up series continued until one day, his briefcase containing the stamp kits was stolen.