Rirkrit Tiravanija, ‘Untitled 2013 (I Am Busy)’, 2013, TWO x TWO

Tiravanija’s actions, sculptures, and installations often convey the unique and uncanny characteristics of our contemporary, fast-paced global existence. Untitled 2013 (I AM BUSY) takes on the qualities of a large, full-length mirror, though with a bold, off-putting declaration stencil-cut out of the center—a kind of modern mantra repeated internally.

Known for work that is both participatory and performative, Rirkrit Tiravanija’s actions, sculptures, and installations often convey the unique and uncanny characteristics of our contemporary, fast-paced global existence in the 21st century. Tiravanija gained attention for his 1992 work Untitled (Free) where he cooked curry and rice in the gallery (served to visitors for free), thereby converting the space into a lively and social, yet temporary, restaurant/kitchen. Untitled 2013 (I AM BUSY) takes on the qualities of a large, full-length mirror, though with a bold, off-putting declaration stencil-cut out of the center. The text could be read a number of ways – exasperated, proud, or haughty – and the phrase exists as a kind of modern mantra repeated internally alongside the performative nature of gazing at oneself in the mirror. Solo exhibitions of Tiravanij’as work have been held at institutions such as the Drawing Center, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and Serpentine Gallery, London. Tiravanija’s work is included in numerous public collections, including Bangkok Museum of Contemporary Art; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

About Rirkrit Tiravanija

Using human interaction as his primary material, Rirkrit Tiravanija goes beyond performance to create socially-engaged conceptual works that blur the boundaries of art in novel ways and bridge the division between public and private. Whether by offering visitors free curry in Untitled (Free) (1992) or inviting strangers to drop by and drink tea together in a replica of the artist’s home in Apartment 21 (Tomorrow Can Shut Up and Go Away) (2002), Tiravanija initiates ways to enable the public to be a part of the art-making process, what has been called relational aesthetics. Part social experiment, part ecological program, The Land (1999-) consists of an area of arable land in Thailand that Tiravanija and others transformed into a communally run site for participants to pursue artistic, agricultural, and social collaboration. He won a Hugo Boss Prize in 2004.

Thai, b. 1961, Buenos Aires, Argentina, based in New York City, Berlin, Chiang Mai

Exhibition Highlights

2016
Helga Maria Klosterfelde Edition, 
Berlin,
Rirkrit Tiravanija: untitled 2016 (unfortunes fortunes)