posted on 12 Nov 2011 21:44 by nguan

Context is everything

Phornthep Permsubhirunya


Everything that is all around us always connects with something. Something that made us sees things different from others. The reason why we see thing different from other is because everyone experience are different. The sense that we receive from things that we have seen is a “context”. Context can happens in anytime and anywhere. Even from small thing to a gigantic thing. It can also happen in an incidence, idea, or something as an abstract form. All the substance around us create different context toward our own experience. This essay will discuss about the work of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Relational Aesthetics work and how he creates a new context depend on the event happening inside the exhibition space. Follow by the blog and works of Ai WeiWei that change the context of the object and the context of political institution. Also how Macel Duchamp questioning what is art and how he change the face of the art history towards the topic of Social, Cultural, Institution and Psychology.

What Rirkrit Tiravanija did in his exhibition “Who afraid of red, yellow and green?” at 100 Tonsons Gallery, Bangkok was given out 3 choices of red curry, green curry, and yellow curry that represent three institutions of the politic with rice that he cooked in the gallery space. On the other hand, the viewer will taste the food and look at a mural around the gallery space. The viewers will soon question themselves whether they were here to eat a food cooked by the artist or looked at the mural about the past political event in Thailand. However the message Rirkrit wants to share is something invisible. The real message is just hidden behind those foods and the painting. The food and a mural is just the tricks to persuade people to come to the exhibition; eat and talk to each other to share their experience in their life. What Rirkrit wants people to get from this exhibition are the experience that we can share with somebody else that we haven’t met or talk before in the gallery even though the colour of the curry can represent which side of politic institution you support, but you can still talk to other people from different politic point of view with out any conflict of interest.

The winner of the Absolut art award 2010 said, “That’s right we all came up with our own experiences. So this is like a space that we open for someone to share the experience with other. We all have to accept that art isn’t something that far away from us, it is always around us.” “As I am an artist and I did something about sharing, I have to create a context that everybody can share but that context can not be anything” “maybe you don’t think that some things are important but on the other hand you have to understand that maybe other will think that it is important” “Who afraid of Red, yellow, and green can create a lot of contexts to other. I didn’t want to create just only one context but I want them to know that there are still many choices left for them to choose, and that is very important for my work.” (Rirkrit Tiravanija interviewed by IsAmAre TV 00:48-4:10)

In my opinion the context of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s works have to be seen by different point of view. The context of his work can be change according to the situation in the gallery space. I don’t think that the viewer can share any experience with anyone in the gallery with that tiny space when there were large quantity of people inside. This is the first time that Rirkrit has his own exhibition in Thailand and there were large number of people came to see the works from the famous conceptual artist. The artist became an institution for people who want to visit him because most people wanted to be there just to meet him and see him working in the gallery. Therefore, in my context the artist became the centre of the work where everyone just staring at him talking to many curators, artists, and influence people in the art industry. The artwork in the exhibition for me is an artist himself.

The concept of the work by Rirkrit Tiravanija cannot be complete without a viewer. Every context of Rirkrit’s work is something that we cannot predict and the relation between people and the space and the food keep going on forever. This is the part where his work has a relation with people who came inside the gallery. His work creates the context of social and psychology in human minds; where they were thinking about the work from their point of view using all the experiences in their life.