Since the 1990s, renowned Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija (born in 1961 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and currently living and working in New York, Berlin, and Chiang Mai) has aligned his artistic production with an ethic of social engagement, often inviting viewers to inhabit and activate his work. In one of his best-known series, begun with pad thai (1990) at the Paula Allen Gallery in New York, Tiravanija opted not to present art objects, and instead he prepared, cooked, and served homestyle Thai curry to exhibition visitors. For his second solo exhibition in New York, held at 303 Gallery in 1992, Tiravanija filled the white rooms with stacks of cultural cast-offs, rendering the space into what seemed like a storage facility, demoting the primacy of the revered art object. The artist’s installations often take the form of stages or rooms for sharing meals, cooking, reading or playing music; architecture or structures for living and socializing are recurring elements in his work.
While at Headlands
During his residency at Headlands, Tiravanija will orchestrate Local Source, a shared meal with a mixed menu based on what is fresh and locally available. As we eat together, Tiravanija will talk about various processes and projects that blur the line between artist and viewer, and ask how an artwork might leave a lasting impression when its medium is something as finite as food. Setting the table in Headlands’ historic Mess Hall—renovated by artist Ann Hamilton—this gathering invites visitors to engage with art in an exceptionally sociable way. Tickets available here.
Local Source is co-presented with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in conjunction with the opening of his curated exhibition therein, titled The Way Things Go (on view February 13—June 21, 2015).