Rirkrit Tiravanija

Artist who favours relations over objects

Two of Tiravanija’s projects in the past year tell you everything you need to know: for the Socle du Monde Biennale in Denmark over the summer, he created a garden design for a local high-school and hosted a barbeque event where food from Denmark, Syria, Afghanistan and his native Thailand was cooked and shared; and at the STPI gallery in Singapore he took part in Exquisite Trust (Blindly Collaborative Creations) with his longtime sparring partners Carsten Höller, Tobias Rehberger and Anri Sala, trading offprints and drawings among each other in an extended game of exquisite corpse. With collaboration and gatherings as his main materials (he recently organised a fundraiser to benefit Puerto Rico at gallery Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in Harlem), Tiravanija has managed to keep the ‘relational’ flag flying longer than any others gathered under that banner, whether it’s working with schoolkids or the same gang of artists for 20 years.