Hugo Boss Prize 2004: Rirkrit Tiravanija
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HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2004: RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA
Prize Winner's Exhibition Features New Installation
Exhibition title: THE HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2004: Rirkrit Tiravanija
Exhibition dates: March 8–May 11, 2005
Exhibition location: Annex Level 5
(NEW YORK, NY–February 25, 2005) An exhibition of the work of Rirkrit Tiravanija, the winner of the HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2004, will be on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from March 8 through May 11, 2005. For the exhibition, Tiravanija has created a new installation entitled Untitled 2005 (the air between the chain-link fence and the broken bicycle wheel), in which the artist has set up a low-power television station within the museum's Annex Level 5.
This exhibition is sponsored by HUGO BOSS AG.
In November 2004, Tiravanija was selected as winner of the HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2004 from a shortlist of finalists which included Franz Ackermann (Germany), Rivane Neuenschwander (Brazil), Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij (Netherlands), Simon Starling (UK), and Yang Fudong (China). Established in 1996, the biennial award was conceived to recognize and support significant achievement in contemporary art.
In describing their selection, the HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2004 jury* explained, "Global in outlook yet local in practice, Tiravanija's works translate from culture to culture with remarkable ease, welcoming the regional traditions brought to the work by the context in which it is presented. We found this sense of intercultural exchange to be a critical component of Tiravanija's practice and one of the defining criteria for awarding him the 2004 Hugo Boss Prize."
* Jurors for HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2004 were: Daniel Birnbaum, Rector of the Städelschule Art Academy and Director of the Portikus Gallery, both in Frankfurt am Main; Susan Cross, Associate Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Thomas Krens, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; Adriano Pedrosa, Curator, inSITE 2005, San Diego/Tijuana; Beatrix Ruf, Director, Kunsthalle Zürich; and Joan Young, Associate Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
The exhibition has been organized by Joan Young, Associate Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Since the early 1990s, Tiravanija has explored a new aesthetic paradigm of interactivity. He has cooked and served food to his audiences, set up a recording studio in a museum, reconstructed his apartment inside a gallery for visitors' use, corresponded via the Internet while on an American road trip with Thai students, and provided opportunities for numerous other everyday activities to occur within art spaces where one would not expect to encounter them. Tiravanija is a catalyst; he creates situations in which visitors are invited to participate or perform. In turn, their shared experiences activate the artwork, giving it meaning and altering its form.
For his Hugo Boss Prize exhibition, Tiravanija has created Untitled 2005 (the air between the chain-link fence and the broken bicycle wheel), a self-built low-power television station, to demonstrate how individuals can be active contributors to their own media culture, rather than mere consumers of it. The installation recalls an earlier project exhibited in Italy, qualsiasi (tv), 2004, that highlighted the Italian phenomenon "telestreet," in which television broadcasts are transmitted over unused frequencies to a local community, circumventing traditional media networks. At the Guggenheim Museum, two rooms have been constructed within the gallery: a sealed glass vitrine holds a transmitter, and a plywood structure holds the receiver, a television. The transmitter is thus deemed precious—just as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regards the airwaves as precious. While the First Amendment protects the freedom of speech, it does not defend unrestricted access to all mechanisms of communication, such as the airwaves. A program is broadcast from a DVD player via the transmitter to the television across unused airwaves by means of the sending and receiving antennas. The found objects enlisted here as antennas indicate the grassroots nature of low-power transmission. To further demystify the broadcasting process, Tiravanija has surrounded the installation with texts describing the technology and its contentious regulation by the FCC in the United States, and he offers the viewer his own instructions for building at-home TV stations.
While a low-power broadcast could potentially reach viewers miles away, the transmission has been restricted to within this gallery's walls due to the many physical hindrances in New York City (such as interference with the signal from urban density and the common use of cable or satellite television) and the considerable legal and policy implications of broadcasting on Museum premises. Tiravanija's democratic desire for everyone to participate freely in his artworks stands in contrast to the FCC's strict regulation of this public resource. Through such a reality-based project, Tiravanija encourages our consideration of commonly held assumptions about methods of communication in this country and issues of free speech.
For this exhibition, Tiravanija has selected to broadcast Peter Watkins's film Punishment Park (1970, 90 minutes), courtesy of Peter Watkins and Project X Distribution Limited.
Rirkrit Tiravanija was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1961, and is based today in New York, Berlin, and Thailand. After high school in Bangkok, he studied at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto; the Banff Center School of Fine Arts, Banff, Canada; The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Independent Study Program, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Tiravanija's installations and actions provide platforms for artistic, public, and private activities—effectively blurring the boundaries that customarily separate them. His projects invite the public to enter into and literally engage with his work; in fact, the active participation of the viewer is necessary for the work to be fully realized. Tiravanija has exhibited widely at museums and galleries throughout the world. He has had solo exhibitions at such institutions as The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997); Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (1998); Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (1998–99); Portikus, Frankfurt (2001); Secession, Vienna (2002); Galerie für Zeitgenossische Kunst, Leipzig (2003); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2003–04); and Chiang Mai University Art Museum, Thailand (2004). Tiravanija's installation Untitled 2002 (he promised) was recently exhibited in New York, under the auspices of the Guggenheim Museum, in October 2004. A retrospective of Tiravanija's work, co-organized by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris/ARC, and the Serpentine Gallery, London, is currently on exhibit in Paris through March 20, 2005.
Notable group exhibitions featuring Tiravanija's work include Emergency/Emergenza, 45th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale (1993); L'Hiver de l'Amour, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and P.S.1, Long Island City, New York (1994); Carnegie International 1995, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (1995); 1995 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1995); Traffic, CAPC Musée d'Art Contemporain, Bordeaux (1996); Manifesta 1: European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (1996); Skulptur Projekte in Münster, Westfälische Landesmuseum and City of Münster (1997); Cities on the Move, Secession, Vienna (1997–98); First Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (1998); dAPERTutto, 48th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale (1999); Egofugal: Fugue from Ego for the Next Emergence, 7th International Istanbul Biennial (2001); First International Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohama (2001); The Fifth System: Public Art in the Age of Post-Planning, Fifth Shenzhen International Public Art Exhibition (2003); and The Big Nothing, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2004). For the 50th International Venice Biennale (2003), Tiravanija co-curated Utopia Station, a version of which has recently traveled to Porto Alegre, Brazil for the World Social Forum. Since 1998, Tiravanija has also been working on The Land, an ongoing, collaborative, environmental reclamation project in Thailand. He has been awarded a Gordon Matta Clark Foundation Award, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Competition Award, a National Endowment for the Arts/Visual Arts, Visual Artist Fellowship, the CENTRAL Art Prize from Central Krankenversicherung AG Cologne, in collaboration with the Kölnischer Kunstverein, in 1996, the Lucelia Artist Award from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2003, and the Benesse Prize, granted by Benesse Art Site Naoshima, Japan, to an artist participating in the Venice Biennale, in 2003. Tiravanija is currently Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Faculty of the Arts, at Columbia University, New York.
In conjunction with the 2004 HUGO BOSS PRIZE, the Guggenheim has published a catalogue that features the work of all of the finalists, including special projects by each artist. The catalogue, designed by Sagmeister Inc., includes essays by Marcella Beccaria, Rosa Martinez, Francis McKee, Molly Nesbit, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, and Jan Tumlir, with an introduction by Joan Young. The catalogue is available for $19.95
This year marks the fifth presentation of the HUGO BOSS PRIZE at the Guggenheim Museum. Since its inception in 1996, the prize has been awarded to American artist Matthew Barney (1996), Scottish artist Douglas Gordon (1998), Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrc (2000), and French artist Pierre Huyghe (2002). Previous finalists have been Laurie Anderson, Janine Antoni, Stan Douglas, Cai Guo Qiang, and Yasumasa Morimura in 1996; Huang Yong Ping, William Kentridge, Lee Bul, Pipilotti Rist, and Lorna Simpson in 1998; Vito Acconci, Maurizio Cattelan, Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Tom Friedman, Barry Le Va, and Tunga in 2000; and Francis Alÿs, Olafur Eliasson, Hachiya Kazuhiko, Koo Jeong-a, and Anri Sala in 2002.
Since 1995, HUGO BOSS has provided critical support to many of the Guggenheim Museum's programs and exhibitions. In addition to the HUGO BOSS PRIZE, the company has helped to make possible retrospectives of the work of artists Georg Baselitz, Ross Bleckner, Francesco Clemente, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg, Matthew Barney, and James Rosenquist, as well as architect Frank Gehry.
February 25, 2005
Betsy Ennis , Director, Public Affairs
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Tel: 212 423-3840