Rirkrit Tiravanija

One of the most influential artists of his generation, Rirkrit Tiravanija is a pioneer of relational aesthetics – constructing social environments that often blur the line between art and life. Combining traditional object making, public and private performances, teaching, and other forms of public service and social actions, his works involve collective participation as a means to activate his art. While at STPI – inspired by H.G. Wells’ dystopian novel “Time Machine” – Tiravanija constructed narratives of time and space using various print and paper techniques that consider the textured, diverse and chaotic nature of time, capable of developing our consciousness of time and existence.
Born in Bueno Aires; raised in Thailand, Ethiopia and Canada; and educated in Chicago and New York, Tiravanija’s life is a constant negotiation of cultures and languages from which he draws inspiration for his practice. His most iconic work Untitled (Free), 1992 transforms museums and galleries worldwide into kitchens and a place of communion where he serves rice and Thai curry to visitors. A recipient of the Hugo Boss Art Prize, his works are part of notable public collections such as The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Migros Museum, Zurich; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; and TATE, London. He has exhibited widely at renowned institutions such as the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Kunsthalle Bielefeld; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Chiang Mai University Art Museum; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and at biennales such as the São Paulo Biennal (2006); the Liverpool Biennial (2002 and 2004); the Whitney Biennial (1995 and 2005); and the Venice Biennale (1993 and 1999).

Untitled, 2016 (The double moon at noon, Darwin’s dilemma), 2016


At SOUTH SOUTH's inaugural edition of SOUTH SOUTH VEZA, STPI Gallery presents works by Indian artists Hema Upadhyay and Shambhavi Singh. During their individual residences at STPI, the artists worked collaboratively with STPI’s creative workshop team to translate their ideas through the innovative use of paper. At STPI, Upadhyay explored the meaning of ‘home’ in the face of India’s rapid urbanisation through autobiography and personal insights. Entering daringly into the dynamics of paper and print, she created a series of monumental works negotiating different but linked artistic cultures. Self-portraiture, disembodied mannequins, botanicals, patterns and lines give rise to narratives of alienation and coexistence. The work demonstrates a fascination with relics, multiples and the intimacies and distances present in processes of urbanisation and globalisation. These associations enable one to arrive at the question of, “What is the future of something or someone in a world where meaning and value are constantly renegotiated, fostering obsolescence and building disposability?” Sharing in ideas of global traversal, self-exploration and survival, the artist Shambhavi Singh’s body of work developed at STPI translate her concepts inspired by the frugal lives of farmers from her native land of Bihar, India, into powerful, minimalist works using paper. By using new methods and icons, her works explored the transient realities of life into a fickle era of materialistic excess. At the time of production, this series introduced a new palette of vibrant, ecstatic colours and forms not previously apparent in the artist’s practice.
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