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HOME | Visual arts | Rirkrit  Tiravanija

Rirkrit  Tiravanija

International Workshop
from 14 to 26 october 2013

Rirkrit Tiravanija
Thai conceptual and installation artist, active also in the USA. Tiravanija, son of a Thai diplomat, studied at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto and the Banff Center School of Fine Arts, before attending the art school of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Tiravanija’s practice often involves everyday actions and commonplace materials, as well as audience interaction. His first untitled solo show, at 303 Gallery, New York in 1992, consisted of offering visitors Thai food cooked on-site. The participatory and performative aspects of Tiravanija’s art, combined with straightforward instructions, recall elements found in work by the Japanese Fluxus artist Yoko Ono. Tiravanija’s strategy of audience participation also echoes the approach of the German conceptual artist Joseph Beuys in the 1970s. In Untitled 1999, as well as in the earlier makeshift-kitchen works, Tiravanija conveyed a sense of both displacement and adaptability, suggesting a parallel to the experiences of both frequent global travellers and refugees alike.
In 2004 the Guggenheim Museum in New York honoured Tiravanija with the Hugo Boss Award and presented an exhibition of his work, which had more overtly political tones. Untitled 2005 (The Air Between the Chain-Link Fence and the Broken Bicycle Wheel) was an installation that featured in this exhibition. Tiravanija’s support of free speech is conveyed by his choice to broadcast the low-budget film Punishment Park (1971), a documentary on the suppression of Vietnam War protests. The titular bicycle tyre of Untitled 2005 is placed atop the wooden structure and can be seen as a reference to Marcel Duchamp’s classic ready-made sculpture, Bicycle Wheel (1913; destr.). This piece blurs the line between art and the banalities of daily life, as do his earlier works.

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