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Rikkrit Tiravanija

“Untitled, 1999 (caravan)” is a specific installation simulating a caravan and including, on the one hand, a zone for reading, watching videos or listening to music and, on the other hand, a kitchen. It is an architectural space for public use housed within another (the exhibition gallery), in which the artist organises cooking and social interaction get-togethers. Tiravanija provides the basic material (the space) and the stimuli (the event), breaking down the visual barrier and urging the spectator to become a participant in it, while in the process leaving his own authorship anonymous. Faced with a perfectly normal and yet strange situation, the onlooker feels a little puzzled. The space thus becomes a laboratory for studying human behaviour, in which the visiting public is at once collaborator, spectator and part of the work. The caravan encompasses all the ephemeral and social dimensions of Tiravanija’s artistic practice. It is a transportable house designed to be occupied. But it is not a permanent, once-and-for-all occupation – rather something temporary, a place of passing through, like all public spaces. The activities carried out therein are social in nature: the meals lend a feeling of celebrating something, while the travel transcends geographical frontiers and closes the gap created by cultural differences.

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