RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA’S TOMORROW
By Elizabeth Patterson
Rirkrit Tiravanija is an artist who has worked in installation art, usually involving food, for years. His latest project Untitled 2015 (Tomorrow Is On Our Tongue as Today Pass from Our Lips), presented by Kreemart involves a reimagining of the Holy Communion as a representation of the greater groups in society and the complacency with which people accept their fate.
Tiravanija and Kreemart seem like a match made in heaven. Tiravanija’s work is characterized by his rejection of traditional artistic guidelines and the creation of his own path. His art usually involved audience participation in some form, be it to a casual extent or something much more involved. Some of his best-known works, like 1990’s “pad thai”, have involved him cooking and serving food to guests at museums or galleries. Another installation was a recreation of his apartment which students were able to actually live in for a period of time. Kreemart is a company that works with artists in a unique way – partnering them with dessert businesses to help them realize their artistic dreams, whatever they may be. The result was an installation that won’t soon be forgotten.
Untitled 2015 is a glass structure with the communion wafers set up in a maze-like web inside. The performers responsible for giving out the communion populate the structure, wearing pristinely white clothing. Their mechanical, measured movements and separation from the guests give a sense of rigidity to the whole event, creating the quiet, respectful ambiance one would find in a church. The wafers themselves were specially constructed out of candy by the business Rock Candy in Sao Paulo, and were based on locations like Everest and Antartica. The guests have the option of lining up in four different areas to receive their wafer, though they don’t know what flavor they will get or if they will even enjoy it. This mirrors the idea of political choice the public has. The see-through element of the structure also has political ties – it’s meant to represent the idea that we think we know what is going on in our convoluted government, but really, we have no idea.
You can experience Tiravanija and Kreemart’s Untitled 2015 (Tomorrow Is On Our Tongue as Today Pass From Our Lips) for yourself by watching the video from the performance here.