Rirkrit Tiravanija

  • Installation in progress for Sarah Sze’s “Triple Point,” 2013, at the United States pavilion, Venice, for the 55th Venice Biennale, May 2013.

    Sarah Sze about the US pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale

    RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA: What was your starting point when you began thinking about making something in the US pavilion? Were you engaged with the space itself or the history of the place?

    SARAH SZE: I’d say both. The pavilion, which is from 1930, is loosely based on a small Palladian villa. You walk in and there’s the rotunda with its two symmetrical wings. There’s a whole hierarchy around space in this Palladian idea, and I was immediately intrigued by how I might change that hierarchy. The pavilion is also a funny space, circulationwise, because when you walk in you usually have to choose whether

  • Nick Relph, Raining Room, 2012, car wheels, 2' 1“ x 5' 9 1/4” x 10' 6 1/4".


    To take stock of the past year, Artforum asked an international group of artists to select the single image, exhibition, or event that most memorably captured their eye in 2012.


    Gang Gang Dance (September 22, Cameo Gallery, Brooklyn) If materialism is the unwanted fat on our spirits, Gang Gang Dance’s music is the blade that cuts it all off. Their sounds burn up that heaviness of need and greed and lift the spirits to other dimensions. A hundred years ago, Rudolf Steiner wrote The Philosophy of Freedom and feverishly lectured about protective space and other visionary ideas to

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Montreal Bed-In, 1969. Performance view, Queen Elizabeth Hotel, room 1742, Montreal, 1969. Photo: Jacques Bourdon.


    Among the most poignant artworks made by Yoko Ono during her fifty-year career must be White Chess Set, 1966, in which all the pieces are white: As any game progresses, players will eventually find their sides impossible to tell apart. “Ideally,” Ono says, “this leads to a shared understanding of their mutual concerns and a new relationship based on empathy rather than opposition. Peace is then attained on a small scale.” So many of the artist’s works revolve around such reorientations and inversions of audience expectations. And yet it is likely her generosity with viewers—in asking them to take an active role in terms of her work’s interpretation and also its realization—that has made her increasingly compelling for artists working today. On the occasion of the artist’s being awarded the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Biennale—and on the fortieth anniversary of her Bed-In performance with John Lennon, currently the subject of an exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art—Artforum invited Ono to discuss her work with Rirkrit Tiravanjia, whose practice shares much with hers. Indeed, Tiravanija’s presence will also be felt in Venice, since the Biennale’s Palazzo delle Esposizioni will feature an informal meeting space and bookstore designed by the artist. Ono spoke with Tiravanija by phone from her New York residence one evening last month—or one morning, from Tiravanija’s perspective in Thailand—about work both past and present, as well as about possible futures. An excerpt from the conversation appears below. For the rest, pick up the Summer issue of Artforum.


    YOKO ONO: I’m here. You sound really distant; why is that? Is it your phone, or . . . ?

    RT: Well, I am in Thailand. [laughter]

    YO: Oh, of course, that’s right. So we’ll have to sort of stretch our ears. It’s very interesting, doing it like this, you know. But please go ahead. You wanted to ask me some questions?

    RT: Well, something noteworthy to me is that it’s the fortieth anniversary of the Bed-In, and maybe we should talk about that. Many people have heard a little bit about that moment already, I think, but maybe you could say more.

    YO: I do feel that it was a

  • Remote Possibilities: A Roundtable Discussion on Land Art’s Changing Terrain

    TIM GRIFFIN A number of artists have recently executed high-profile projects in remote places—“remote,” at least, from traditional art-world centers. In fact, we can count three individuals participating today among them: Pierre and his recent voyage to Antarctica, Rirkrit and the Land in Thailand, and Andrea with her High Desert Test Sites near Joshua Tree. Realizing, of course, that there are significant differences among these projects—and I hope we’ll shed good light on a few of these—working in a “remote” location seems to be a broader trend (think also of projects by Carsten Höller, Tacita

  • Rirkrit Tiravanija talks with Fischli & Weiss

    Spending time looking for a tiny miracle at the end of the day, it suddenly all makes sense, the way things go. With Peter Fischli and David Weiss, the way things go is that they take time: not necessarily “actual” time, but possibly the contemplative relation one could have with time. Their most recent video work—accumulated footage from various trips, both planned and spontaneous, encompassing experiences ranging from daily activities to an event that might occur once in a blue moon—was a year and a half in the making. In their work the camera takes in a “handheld reality,” fragments of events within the parameters of the artists’ reach—encounters occurring during an afternoon drive, a day trip, or a journey across the continent.I arrived in Zurich to spend a couple of days (two and a half to be precise) with Peter and David as they prepared for their show “Peter Fischli and David Weiss: In a Restless World,” on view at: the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis until August 11. In addition to works of sculpture, film, and photography; the exhibition features their videos, shown for the first time since their debut at the Swiss Pavilion in the 1995 Venice Biennale. Dubbing all the tapes for the Walker exhibition will take 10 hours a day over a 12-day period. Between the taping and the work of preparing the rest of the show, Peter and David arranged for the three of us (and a friend) to take a guided tour of the “Hölloch” (hell hole), the largest cave in Europe and one of the biggest in the world. The fragment below is an excerpt from an attempt to conduct an interview in real time (comprising 15 hours of recording); as with reality, many things worked, and many failed, but in spending time with Peter Fischli and David Weiss, a small event can answer all the big questions. —RT

    The taping begins in the car with David on the way from the airport to one of Fischli and Weiss’ studios. David and I discuss the idea for the interview and agree I will tape our conversation in real time (or close to real time)—that is, turning the recorder on and letting it go for the two and a half days I will be spending with them. David says that they haven’t done an interview in a while and that in the past it has never been quite satisfying.

    DAVID WEISS: Did you go to the Biennale in Venice last year?

    RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA: No, I didn’t get to see the project.

    DW: It’s quite similar to the idea