RECREATING LIFE AROUND ART
“It is not what you see that is important, but what takes place between people.”
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija now works and lives between Chiang Mai, Thailand, and New York, US. After a lifetime divided between continents, Rirkrit came to question borders and frontiers, both real and theoretical. Following these experiences, he developed an artistic language capable of blurring the traditional boundaries between art and life.
Rirkrit values the power of solidarity and collective action. Experimenting with different forms of social engagement, he decided to shift art from objects to actions, orchestrating artistic situations which demand our cooperation to release their potential.
In the nineties, Rirkrit started to create unexpected encounters, using human interaction as the primary fuel. Often revolving around the act of cooking and eating, he uses food as a catalyst for sociability and collective experience. Sharing the act of producing and consuming something collectively, the audience actively participates in the creative process: liberated from their status as viewers, participants are transformed into actors and makers.
Through Rirkrit’s art, people can find themselves in a shared moment of true togetherness. An effective answer to our times of progressive alienation and superficial globalisation, where everyone seems to be everywhere, but never really ‘there’. Rirkrit’s intimate social encounters ask us to be present and to relate to our neighbours with new eyes, requalifying the meaning of human interaction on more spontaneous, more innovative terms.
Rirkrit Tiravanija, Do we dream under the same sky, Art Basel 2015
Photo © Art Basel