Hands-on Utopia: the Architectural Appropriations of Rirkrit Tiravanija

Jordan Troeller : History of Art/Interdisciplinary Studies Field Program

Mentor: Professor Anne Wagner, History of Art

This History of Art thesis project will examine how the contemporary participatory art of Rirkrit Tiravanija overlaps with and departs from the work of HĂ©lio Oiticica in 1960s Brazil. Rather than creating discrete objects, these artists engender interactive situations. Recently dubbed relational art, such installations involve the viewer in various social activities, such as cooking or dancing, thereby challenging the distinction between art and everyday life. While Oiticica's work emphasizes the relationship between participation and political agency, Tiravanija's art examines the interface between artifice and leisure activities. Examining the relationship between these two practices, Jordan will draw upon theories of the 'everyday', the aesthetics of relational art, and the politics of socially critical installation art, in addition to conducting research at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and at Documenta XII (Kassel, Germany).