Rirkrit Tiravanija

RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA by ©ANTOINETTE AURELL

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Riot Kitchen.Giardini, Venice Biennale, Italy. 2009

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workshop with RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA at Food for Though. Danemark. 2008
photo © YORK WEGERHOFF

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workshop with RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA at Food for Though. Danemark. 2008
photo © YORK WEGERHOFF

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Untitled (shut up and eat pad-thai). 2005
110 framed c-prints, each 10 x 14 cm, 141 x 176 cm allover
Courtesy neugerriemschneider, Berlin

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Untitled (the party is over). 2005
acrylic on canvas. 90 x 125 cm
Private Collection

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For RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA, art is what you eat. The artist became famous in 1992 when he made Untitled 1992 (Free), a sculpture–performance–guerrilla action wherein he emptied out the office of the 303 Gallery in Soho and installed a makeshift kitchen, complete with fridge, hot plates, rice steamers, tables, and stools. He then cooked Thai curry; anyone could drop in, serve him- or herself, and eat. For free.

Since then he is constantly questioning the social significance of art. He nurtures the art community with his installations, in which, as a rule, he actually prepares meals. Through the experiences of pleasure and conversation, the question of the meaning of art in society arises indirectly.

TIRAVANIJA was born to Thai parents in Buenos Aires in 1963. He was raised in Argentina, Bangkok, Ethiopia, and Canada. After studying art in New York and Chicago, he began traveling constantly, fulfilling the role of the “global artist.” The search for cultural identity has always been at the center of his art. He connects different cultures through his cooking. It is not just about the sense of community that arises when sharing a meal, but also about the recipes. Not only do they mix west and east, but they also make the two confront each other.

And good news: his cookbook “Just Smile and Don’t Talk” is now available in the WFW Store. The book contains 23 recipes, previously performed in museums and galleries throughout the world, interviews and essays.



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