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Biography

rirkrit_tiravanija_untitled_2020_hope_has_no_right_angels_2020

rirkrit tiravanija

1961, Buenos Aires

Even though Rirkrit Tiravanija’s diverse artistic production eludes classification, he has accurately described it as “relational”: a body work focused on real-time experience and exchange that breaks down the barriers between the object and the spectator while questioning the art object as fetish, and the sacredness of the gallery and museum display. Tiravanija’s work first came to public awareness in a 1989 New York gallery through untitled (), which consisted of weekly renewed displays of the various stages of a green curry meal: a pedestal for ingredients, a pedestal for curry cooking on a burner, and a pedestal with waste products. In 1992, he continued to push and question the possibilities and principles of the gallery space in untitled (free), in which he emptied out an art gallery and turned it into a social/meeting space where he cooked large meals for visitors; and in untitled (1999), an exact replica of his East Village apartment where people were invited to live in. Tiravanija has also described his work as: “comparable to reaching out, removing Marcel Duchamp’s urinal from its pedestal, reinstalling it back on the wall, and then, in an act of returning it to its original use, pissing in it.” Tiravanija is interested in subverting deeply-ingrained ways of interacting with art through novel forms of collaboration and exchange that diminish the preciousness of objects reconsidering their lifecycle and function while remaining accessible to a broad public.

Tiravanija is an Argentina born Thai artist who lives between New York, Berlin, and Chiang Mai and his work carries strains of this nomadic existence, blending and re-combining different cultural contexts. Rather than insisting on a particular reality or truth, his work creates open-ended contexts for people to grapple with these questions themselves. The strength of Tiravanija’s work lies precisely in its ephemerality and the slippery ways it escapes definition; he takes the material of the every-day and re-stages it, allowing the viewer a perspective at once banal and deeply profound about the quickly fleeting nature of life itself.

Tiravanija received his BA from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1984 and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1986. From 1985-1986, he participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program. He has received numerous grants and awards, including the Absolut Art Award 2010, the Silpathorn Award by the Ministry of Culture in Thailand (2017), Hugo Boss Prize (2004), and Lucelia Artist Award by the Smithsonian American Art Museum (2003),  among others.

Tiravanija lives and works in New York, Berlin, and Chiang Mai.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails

untitled 1998 (pad thai), 1990

electric woks, cooking utensils, pad thai recipe, glass display case

variable dimensions

 

untitled 1998 (pad thai), 1990

electric woks, cooking utensils, pad thai recipe, glass display case

variable dimensions

 

 

untitled 1992 (free), 1992

gallery equipment, artworks, fridge, table, stools, cooking utensils, cooking ingredients

variable dimensions

 

 

untitled 1992 (free), 1992
gallery equipment, artworks, fridge, table, stools, cooking utensils, cooking ingredients

variable dimensions
 

 

untitled 1993 (sleep/winter), 1993
straw mat, foam mattress, cotton pillow, duvet

variable dimensions

 

 

untitled 1993 (sleep/winter), 1993

straw mat, foam mattress, cotton pillow, duvet

variable dimensions

 

 

untitled (tomorrow is another day), 1996

mixed media
variable dimensions

 

untitled 1996 (rehearsal studio no. 6, silent version), 1996
plexiglass, steel, musical instruments, amplifiers, headphones, archive recordings
variable dimensions

 

untitled 1997 (playtime), 1997
wood, glass, grey carpet, video monitor, video with excerpts from playtime (france 1967, directed by jacques tati), children's activities.

variable dimensions

 

untitled 1997 (playtime), 1997
wood, glass, grey carpet, video monitor, video with excerpts from playtime (france 1967, directed by jacques tati), children's activities.
variable dimensions

 


untitled 1999 (caravan), 1999

wooden scale replica of caravan used for on the road with jiew jeib sri and moo, electric stoves, pots, cusions, water pump, monitor, dvd player, library of road movies

variable dimensions

 

untitled 1999 (royal thai pavilion), 1999
wooden platform, teak tree, chalkboard, chalk, posters, advertisements, envelopes, invitation cards, flags, performance schedule

variable dimensions

untitled 1999 (royal thai pavilion), 1999
wooden platform, teak tree, chalkboard, chalk, posters, advertisements, envelopes, invitation cards, flags, performance schedule
variable dimensions

 

untitled 1999 (royal thai pavilion), 1999

wooden platform, teak tree, chalkboard, chalk, posters, advertisements, envelopes, invitation cards, flags, performance schedule

variable dimensions

 

untitled 2002 (the raw and the cooked), 2002
long table, custom-made plastic foods, drinks, monitors screening footage of people making fake food

variable dimensions

untitled 2003 (elephant juice), 2003
stage, headphones, pole, pole dancer
documentation of performance 

 

chew the fat (a documentary portraid by rirkrit tiravanija), 2008

mixed media

variable dimensions

 

untitled 2002 (he promised), 2002
chrome and stainless steel, monitors, palms
variable dimensions

 

untitled 2002 (he promised), 2002
chrome and stainless steel, monitors, palms
variable dimensions

 

untitled 2002 (he promised), 2002
chrome and stainless steel, monitors, palms
variable dimensions

 

untitled 2005 (the air between the chain-link fence and the broken bicycle wheel), 2005
glass and stainless-steel structure with transmitter, wooden structure with receiver, furniture, monitors
variable dimensions

 

untitled 2006 (demo station no. 5), 2006

mixed media

variable dimensions
 

 


untitled 2006 (demo station no. 5), 2006

mixed media

variable dimensions

 

palm pavilion (2006-2008), 2006-2008

metal, wood, palm trees, striated and galvanized metal sheets, fiber glass, 10 aquarium lamps UV, 3 showcases

354.33 x 433.07 x 196.85 in.
installation view of palm pavilion, kurimanzutto, mexico city, 2006

palm pavilion (2006-2008), 2006-2008

metal, wood, palm trees, striated and galvanized metal sheets, fiber glass, 10 aquarium lamps UV, 3 showcases

354.33 x 433.07 x 196.85 in.

installation view of palm pavilion, kurimanzutto, mexico city, 2008

 

palm pavilion (2006-2008), 2006-2008

metal, wood, palm trees, striated and galvanized metal sheets, fiber glass, 10 aquarium lamps UV, 3 showcases

354.33 x 433.07 x 196.85 in.

installation view of palm pavilion, kurimanzutto, mexico city, 2008

 

menos petróleo más valor, 2008

oil on clayboard
14.75 x 23.62 in.

 

untitled 2011 (menos petróleo más valor / 14 de junio 2011), 2011
acrylic and newspaper on linen
75.31 x 68.03 in.

untitled 2007 (esto no es decoración), 2007

oil paint on board

18 x 24 in.

 

untitled 2012 (the sun is gone but we have the light), 2012

oil on canvas
102.36 x 62.99 in.

 

untitled 2011 (el gusano), 2011
acrylic on newspaper (set of 110 drawings) and 40,000 clay tortillas
14.96 x 22.64 in. each drawing, 5.12 in. diameter each tortilla

 

 

untitled 2011 (los días de esta sociedad son contados), 2011
acrylic on newspaper
set of 20, 14.96 x 22.64 in. each

 

untitled 2011 (los días de esta sociedad son contados, 7 de julio de 2010), 2010

acrylic and newspaper on linen
75.39 x 68.5 x 1.57 in.

 

untitled 2012 (mañana es la cuestión), 2012

silkscreen on set of three ping pong tables and paddles, lime tennis court tracing
36.61 x 108.66 x 64.96 in. each

untitled 2012 (mañana es la cuestión), 2012

silkscreen on set of three ping pong tables and paddles, lime tennis court tracing
36.61 x 108.66 x 64.96 in. each
detail view of ping pong paddle

 

untitled 2012 (all those years at no. 17e london terrace), 2012
wooden structure, 1,938 CDs, 949 books, original furniture, 3 sets of posters, kitchen with gas, 12 scanned and 3D printed objects in abc plastic
116.14 x 245.28 x 455.91 in. installed

installation view of untitled 2012, (all those years at no. 17e london terrace), kurimanzutto, mexico city, 2012

 

 

untitled 2012 (arto's fireplace), 2012
stainless steel, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic
51.97 x 51.97 x 19.69 in. and variable dimensions

 

untitled 2012 (arto's fireplace), 2012

stainless steel, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic
51.97 x 51.97 x 19.69 in. and variable dimensions
detail 

untitled 2013 (todos juntos / jueves 5 y viernes 6 de septiembre de 2013), 2013
encaustic and newspaper on linen, set of two
75.31 x 68.03 in. each

 

untitled 1998 (pad thai), 1990

electric woks, cooking utensils, pad thai recipe, glass display case

variable dimensions

 

untitled 1998 (pad thai), 1990

electric woks, cooking utensils, pad thai recipe, glass display case

variable dimensions

 

 

untitled 1992 (free), 1992

gallery equipment, artworks, fridge, table, stools, cooking utensils, cooking ingredients

variable dimensions

 

 

untitled 1992 (free), 1992
gallery equipment, artworks, fridge, table, stools, cooking utensils, cooking ingredients

variable dimensions
 

 

untitled 1993 (sleep/winter), 1993
straw mat, foam mattress, cotton pillow, duvet

variable dimensions

 

 

untitled 1993 (sleep/winter), 1993

straw mat, foam mattress, cotton pillow, duvet

variable dimensions

 

 

untitled (tomorrow is another day), 1996

mixed media
variable dimensions

 

untitled 1996 (rehearsal studio no. 6, silent version), 1996
plexiglass, steel, musical instruments, amplifiers, headphones, archive recordings
variable dimensions

 

untitled 1997 (playtime), 1997
wood, glass, grey carpet, video monitor, video with excerpts from playtime (france 1967, directed by jacques tati), children's activities.

variable dimensions

 

untitled 1997 (playtime), 1997
wood, glass, grey carpet, video monitor, video with excerpts from playtime (france 1967, directed by jacques tati), children's activities.
variable dimensions

 


untitled 1999 (caravan), 1999

wooden scale replica of caravan used for on the road with jiew jeib sri and moo, electric stoves, pots, cusions, water pump, monitor, dvd player, library of road movies

variable dimensions

 

untitled 1999 (royal thai pavilion), 1999
wooden platform, teak tree, chalkboard, chalk, posters, advertisements, envelopes, invitation cards, flags, performance schedule

variable dimensions

untitled 1999 (royal thai pavilion), 1999
wooden platform, teak tree, chalkboard, chalk, posters, advertisements, envelopes, invitation cards, flags, performance schedule
variable dimensions

 

untitled 1999 (royal thai pavilion), 1999

wooden platform, teak tree, chalkboard, chalk, posters, advertisements, envelopes, invitation cards, flags, performance schedule

variable dimensions

 

untitled 2002 (the raw and the cooked), 2002
long table, custom-made plastic foods, drinks, monitors screening footage of people making fake food

variable dimensions

untitled 2003 (elephant juice), 2003
stage, headphones, pole, pole dancer
documentation of performance 

 

chew the fat (a documentary portraid by rirkrit tiravanija), 2008

mixed media

variable dimensions

 

untitled 2002 (he promised), 2002
chrome and stainless steel, monitors, palms
variable dimensions

 

untitled 2002 (he promised), 2002
chrome and stainless steel, monitors, palms
variable dimensions

 

untitled 2002 (he promised), 2002
chrome and stainless steel, monitors, palms
variable dimensions

 

untitled 2005 (the air between the chain-link fence and the broken bicycle wheel), 2005
glass and stainless-steel structure with transmitter, wooden structure with receiver, furniture, monitors
variable dimensions

 

untitled 2006 (demo station no. 5), 2006

mixed media

variable dimensions
 

 


untitled 2006 (demo station no. 5), 2006

mixed media

variable dimensions

 

palm pavilion (2006-2008), 2006-2008

metal, wood, palm trees, striated and galvanized metal sheets, fiber glass, 10 aquarium lamps UV, 3 showcases

354.33 x 433.07 x 196.85 in.
installation view of palm pavilion, kurimanzutto, mexico city, 2006

palm pavilion (2006-2008), 2006-2008

metal, wood, palm trees, striated and galvanized metal sheets, fiber glass, 10 aquarium lamps UV, 3 showcases

354.33 x 433.07 x 196.85 in.

installation view of palm pavilion, kurimanzutto, mexico city, 2008

 

palm pavilion (2006-2008), 2006-2008

metal, wood, palm trees, striated and galvanized metal sheets, fiber glass, 10 aquarium lamps UV, 3 showcases

354.33 x 433.07 x 196.85 in.

installation view of palm pavilion, kurimanzutto, mexico city, 2008

 

menos petróleo más valor, 2008

oil on clayboard
14.75 x 23.62 in.

 

untitled 2011 (menos petróleo más valor / 14 de junio 2011), 2011
acrylic and newspaper on linen
75.31 x 68.03 in.

untitled 2007 (esto no es decoración), 2007

oil paint on board

18 x 24 in.

 

untitled 2012 (the sun is gone but we have the light), 2012

oil on canvas
102.36 x 62.99 in.

 

untitled 2011 (el gusano), 2011
acrylic on newspaper (set of 110 drawings) and 40,000 clay tortillas
14.96 x 22.64 in. each drawing, 5.12 in. diameter each tortilla

 

 

untitled 2011 (los días de esta sociedad son contados), 2011
acrylic on newspaper
set of 20, 14.96 x 22.64 in. each

 

untitled 2011 (los días de esta sociedad son contados, 7 de julio de 2010), 2010

acrylic and newspaper on linen
75.39 x 68.5 x 1.57 in.

 

untitled 2012 (mañana es la cuestión), 2012

silkscreen on set of three ping pong tables and paddles, lime tennis court tracing
36.61 x 108.66 x 64.96 in. each

untitled 2012 (mañana es la cuestión), 2012

silkscreen on set of three ping pong tables and paddles, lime tennis court tracing
36.61 x 108.66 x 64.96 in. each
detail view of ping pong paddle

 

untitled 2012 (all those years at no. 17e london terrace), 2012
wooden structure, 1,938 CDs, 949 books, original furniture, 3 sets of posters, kitchen with gas, 12 scanned and 3D printed objects in abc plastic
116.14 x 245.28 x 455.91 in. installed

installation view of untitled 2012, (all those years at no. 17e london terrace), kurimanzutto, mexico city, 2012

 

 

untitled 2012 (arto's fireplace), 2012
stainless steel, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic
51.97 x 51.97 x 19.69 in. and variable dimensions

 

untitled 2012 (arto's fireplace), 2012

stainless steel, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic
51.97 x 51.97 x 19.69 in. and variable dimensions
detail 

untitled 2013 (todos juntos / jueves 5 y viernes 6 de septiembre de 2013), 2013
encaustic and newspaper on linen, set of two
75.31 x 68.03 in. each

 

notable solo exhibitions

notable solo exhibitions

Some of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s recent individual exhibitions include: Rirkrit Tiravanija. Tomorrow Is the Question, Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, Italy; Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada (2019); untitled 2018 (the infinite dimensions of smallness), Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Commission series, National Gallery Singapore (2018); The fire is gone but we have the light: Rirkrit Tiravanija & Korakrit Arunanondchai, Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, United States (2016); Tomorrow is the Question, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, (2016); U.F.O. (Universal Fantastic Occupation), Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2015); untitled 2015 (tomorrow is on our tongue, as today pass from our lips), Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil (CCBB) Distrito Federal, Brasilia (2015); Rirkrit Tiravanija: Tomorrow is the Question, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2015); FOCUS: Rirkrit Tiravanija, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, United States (2014); Without Reality There Is No Utopia, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), San Francisco, United States (2013); Portraits, Tate Modern, London (2013); On air, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2012); Print/Out, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); Rirkrit Tiravanija: Chew the Fat, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, United States (2009); Rirkrit Tiravanija: Demonstration Drawings, Drawing Center, New York (2008), among others.

selected group exhibitions and biennials

He has also participated at the following group exhibitions: No habrá nunca una puerta. Estás adentro. Obras de la Coleção Teixeira de Freitas, Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid (2019); Power to the People. Political Art Now, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany (2018); The Westreich Wagner collection, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2017); FREDERICK KIESLER: Life Visions, MAK Vienna (2016); In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2015); Zero Tolerance, MoMA PS1, New York (2015); 1984-1999 La Décennie, Centre Pompidou-Metz, France (2015); UGO RONDINONE: I ♥ JOHN GIORNO, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015); Take Me (I’m Yours), Monnaie de Paris (2015); Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, United States (2014); Grip friheten! / Take Liberty!, Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo, Norway (2014); NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, New Museum, New York (2013); The Red Queen, MONA - Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia (2013); Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012), and Thai Transience, Singapore Art Museum (2012), among many others.

He has participated in various biennials, including: Yokohama Triennale 2017, Japan; THE GARDEN – End of Times; Beginning of Times, ARoS triennial, Aarhus, Denmark (2017); 13. Fellbach Triennial of Small-Scale Sculpture, Germany (2016); CURRENT:LA Public Art Biennial, Los Angeles (2016); 20 Bienal de Arte Paiz, Guatemala (2016); 56th, 54th, and 48th Venice Biennial (2015, 2011, and 1999, respectively); Sharjah Biennial 12 and 8, United Arab Emirates (2015 and 2007, respectively); 30th Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, Slovenia (2013); XIV Biennale Internazionale di Scultura di Carrara, Italy (2010); 9th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2012); Whitney Biennial 2006, New York; 27a Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2006); 2nd Guangzhou Triennial, China (2005); 7. İstanbul Bienali, Turkey (2001), among others.

Video