Untitled 2015 (run like hell)
For his fifth exhibition at Galerie Chantal Crousel, Rirkrit Tiravanija presents two new quasimonumental works in the main hall.
“Play one note, then another, and then another, and make a song.” (Punk adage)
From the outset, Rirkrit Tiravanija has always been interested in countercultures that have nourished
his work. Punk, the 1970s iconic antiestablishment movement, was a response to the era’s various artistic, economic, and social crisis. It reflects a total rejection of conventional circuits and is notable for allowing anyone and everyone to come on stage to express themselves regardless of talent. Inspired by this culture of amateurism and contention, Rirkrit Tiravanija resorts to recurrent provocation in experimental situations, leaving viewers to interact freely with his installations and, thus, shift their status from visitor to participant. “ For me, the core of my work lies in the very construction. Without interaction or activation, it doesn’t exist.”
This time, Rirkrit Tiravanija presents a first work functioning as an architectural replica of the bathroom at CBGB1, a now closed, Bowery Street bar in New York City. It was a hangout for burgeoning punk bands like Television, The Ramones, and Patti Smith. All the graffitis and stickers piled up during the 33 years of existence of the bar have been removed from the walls. Only imperceptible and almost spectral marks, are to be seen by the visitor. Visitors, like any CBGB patron, can actually use this restroom.
The artist has a history of engaging in reconstructing architectural space, reactivating in 2010 Asile Flottant, a coal barge named Louise-Catherine that Le Corbusier redesigned as a shelter, and his own New York City apartment, reproduced on a scale of one, called Untitled (Tomorrow is Another Day), (1996), and his music rehearsal studio, Rehearsal Studio No. 6 (1996).
The second piece is a stage made entirely of marble placed on ice boxes. It was inspired by the hastily-built stages, typical of grunge culture. The stage features the classic trio of guitar/bass/drums in punk rock. Visitors are free to pick up and play the instruments and to riff in the exhibition hall to their heart’s content. The use of marble here is characteristic of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s work. While preserving the functionality of the original object, he reinterprets the original materials with visibly fragile materials. For untitled 2015 (run like hell), he created a sharp contrast between marble’s delicateness and the brutishness of the punk movement.
Recalling the ones that support the stage, the marble ice boxes displayed in the space are filled with a famous Italian food product, the lardo di Colonnata, produced in the community of Carrara and which is traditionally cured in marble chests. In perfect continuity with his beginnings in the 1990s, he explores the notions of community and conviviality in food, inviting visitors to chew the fat during the opening night.
A concert will take place in the exhibition space during the opening.
1. Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers