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July 21, 2006

Open-Ended Utopia:


The art of Rirkrit Tiravanija

"[...] (Rirkrit Tiravanija) transforms galleries into kitchens that serve up free pad Thai. He turns museums into low-power radio stations, a replica of his New York apartment, a functioning mechanic's shop, and a studio where "street TV" is broadcast to the neighborhood. He builds chrome-plated kitchen consoles, theatrical stages out of plywood and 2x4s, and replica modernist homes from glass and steel, then invites people in to do... whatever: rehearse with their band, sleep, eat, listen to a DJ, debate topics of the day, read. And he plays informal host at an off-the-grid rice farm in Thailand that's art only insofar as it fits his definition of the genre as "a space for possibilities." [...]

You could say his art is all about building "chaotic structures." Then again, it's about lots of things; his work is so open-ended and departs so radically from the art market's orientation toward precious objects, that it’s earned many labels, many – like utopian or chaotic – that only tell part of the story. But one that's stuck is French theorist-critic Nicholas Bourriaud's "relational aesthetics," the idea of judging the social relationships sparked by an artwork instead of merely considering the object [...]" From Open-Ended Utopia: The art of Rirkrit Tiravanija by Paul Schmelzer, Eyeteeth: Journal of Incisive Ideas.

Posted by jo at July 21, 2006 06:36 PM