September/October Mexico City photo report

Following Latitudes recent trip to Mexico City for our project at Casa del Lago (see a slideshow of the five tours we realised around the city with artists Minerva Cuevas, Tania Pérez Córdova, Jerónimo Hagerman, Diego Berruecos, and Terence Gower), here's a run through of some of the other museum and gallery exhibitions which we had time to see in the city.

LABOR and kurimanzutto both opened on the 20th September. LABOR's solo exhibition of Terence Gower (one of the five artists invited by Latitudes as part of the 'Incidents of Travel' project documented at Casa del Lago). His 'Ottagono' exhibition presented new and old works "that extended the artist investigation into the realm of abstract art" (quote from the press release), including the 2010 video "New Utopias", "Noguchi Galaxy" (2012), the sculpture group "Display Modern (Hepworth)" (2007) as well as paintings on photographs "Latin American Architecture" (2012), amongst others.




The Museo Experimental El Eco also had a book launch that evening, and upstairs the project "FRANCE FICTION: Vinimos a soñar" by Paris-based curator Jennifer Teets could be seen.



kurimanzutto began the 2012-13 season with Untitled 2012, (All those years at No. 17E London Terrace), a collaboration between visual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija and musician Arto Lindsay, for which the artist recreated Lindsay's New York flat and copied around 2000 CDs and books he has had in storage in New York. Lindsay played the following day at Cine Tonalá and hung out in his new plywood mexican home the following week recording music and talking with visitors. Also, in the project space, was Paloma Polo's 'Posición Aparente' (recently exhibited as part of Reina Sofia's Fisuras programme). On view until 3 November. ( gob. Rafael Rebollar 94, Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, 11850 México D.F.) http://www.kurimanzutto.com
 

During installation we escaped for a lunch break and a visit to the recently extended Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in the Bosque de Chapultepec. The Tamayo hosted an impressive roster of exhibitions: two group shows and three solo presentations, besides a selection of Tamayo's work: 'Primer Acto' (a group show on the idea of inauguration and the opening act), 'El mañana ya estuvo aquí' (a group show with works around the idea of retrospective visions of the future of modernity), Ryan Gander's 'Boing, boing, squirt'; Pierre Huyghe's 'El día del ojo' (a three part piece consisting of a permanent sculpture of a fish tank with blind fish and volcanic rocks; a selection of works from the Museo Tamayo y del Museo de Arte Prehispánico "Rufino Tamayo" in Oaxaca; and a publication) and the project 'Nueva Matemática' by Michael Stevenson. 

 Wilfredo Prieto's red carpet welcomes visitors.

 SUPERFLEX's visitor counter outside the museum.

Central courtyard with Pierre Huyghe's fish tank with blind fish and volcanic rocks (background and below); a selection of works from the Museo Tamayo y del Museo de Arte Prehispánico "Rufino Tamayo" in Oaxaca.


The day after our Casa del Lago opening we visited the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) which had shows of Edgardo Aragón ("Por amor a la resistencia"), an impressive Teresa Margolles piece, "La Promesa", following the focus of her long-term investigation on Ciudad Juárez as a political and social context, and "Ejercicios de Resistencia" by Nicolás Paris. Downstairs there was an archival display of Felipe Ehrenberg's collection fund.

 Façade of the museum in the University (UNAM) campus.

Entrance foyer and lower level.

 "Ejercicios de Resistencia" by Nicolás Paris

 Stairs to the restaurant, auditorium and library.

 Downstairs archival material of Felipe Ehrenberg's collection fund.

At MUCA-Roma we visited the group show "Colección: El crimen fundacional, crítica del museo' curated by first graduating students in the Curatorial Programme of UNAM's Art History degree, which included Mariana Castillo Deball's piece 'It rises or falls depending on whether you're coming or going. If you are leaving, it's uphill; but as you arrive it's downhill' (2006), presented in 2007 in the Latitudes'-curated exhibition 'Extraordinary Rendition'. The piece revisits a popular legend around the looting and transportation of the colossal stone statue of Tláloc to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City in a series of lithographs.


Our final stop was Proyectos Monclova, which has relocated to a new and much larger space in Colima 55 (Col. Roma) with a solo show of architect Eduardo Terrazas (best known for his graphic design for Mexico's 1968 olympics realised in collaboration with Lance Wyman and Manuel Villazón.) Terrazas was concurrently exhibiting some works at the Casa Luis Barragán. The final gallery space was screening a fantastic slideshow with the 1968 work "Imagen México" accompanied with a soundtrack of 1969 songs. The exhibition finished on 29 September. See video of the opening here (via Vernissage TV) and a recent newspaper article.

  Façade of the gallery.


Central gallery space.

Some of Terraza's works on view in the central space.

1970-1972 works on view in the back gallery space.

Showroom nearby the gallery offices.

On Saturday 29th there was a tour (Ruta de Galerias, see video by Vernissage TV) around San Miguel Chapultepec and Tacubaya art spaces (participants included: Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura, Casa Luis Barragán, Central Art Projects, Galería de Arte Mexicano, Gallé Antigüedades, Jan Mot, kurimanzutto, Labor, Estacionamientos San Miguel Chapultepec, and Fundación Alumnos47). We started the day at the Museo de Arte Moderno, with a launch of the publication "History of the World" and in conversation between L.A.-born Guadalajara-based artist Eduardo Sarabia and Patrick Charpenel, collector and director of the Colección Jumex.



The tour was followed by a quick burger lunch at Café Zena in the corner of Gob. Potasio Pérez de Tagle and Antonio de León. 

 

...and then back to kurimanzutto, where Arto Lindsay was having a conversation with Carlos Icaza, discussing a selection of his books and CDs, talking about the changes in music technology and supports (from vinyl to CDs), mexican, brazilian and japanese musicians.



From there we visited Jan Mot's space (Gob. José Ceballos 10, Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, 11850 México D.F. www.janmot.com), which presented Manon de Boer's "One, two, many", recently also presented for dOCUMENTA (13) (see Latitudes' comprehensive blog post here). On view at until 17 November.



On our final evening in Mexico City we went to Sala Arte Público Siqueiros, where cuban artist Wilfredo Prieto celebrated the beginning his 45-day project "Dejándole algo a la suerte" (Leaving something to chance, until 12 November). For the duration of the exhibition Prieto occupies the upper gallery of the SAPS which has been turned into a studio from where he develops and conceptualises works to be presented on a daily basis on the lower gallery space (see here for those who have already taken place). On October 4th, the (non) opening day, the project began with 'Dos Tiempos': the encounter of a hare (named Raúl) and a terapin (Anastasia).


All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




At Last...'The Last Newspaper' catalogue!

Latitudes' 10-week editorial residency at the New Museum has come to an end! Below photos of each of the 10 weekly newspapers we have published and that has been available every Wednesday from the museum galleries.

The Last Post (#1): See contents and learn about Dara Birnbaum's Media Habits here

The Last Gazette (#2): See contents and read a focus text by Julienne Lorz on Hans Haacke's News here

The Last Register (#3): See contents and read an exclusive interview with visual artist Francesc Ruiz here

The Last Star-Ledger (#4): See contents and read an exclusive interview with Portugal's newest newspaper's Creative Director, Nick Mrozowski here

The Last Monitor (#4): See contents and read an read about the history of newspapers' paperweights here

The Last Observer (#6): See contents and read an exclusive interview with Wolfgang Tillmans here

The Last Evening Sun (#7): Read contents and and a text on Luciano Fabro's work 'Pavimento–Tautologia' here
The Last Journal (#8): See contents and read an exclusive interview with Rirkrit Tiravanija here

The Last Times (#9): See contents and read Pablo Vargas Lugo's Picture Agent contribution here
 The Last Express (#10): See contents and read the report on the 27 November talk between filmmaker Adam Chadwick and web veteran Jason Fry here.

Each of 'The Last...' has been edited and freely distributed from a micro-newsroom on the New Museum's third floor gallery space.

Latitudes' newsroom on the third floor of the New Museum, New York. Photo: Greg Barton

The Last Post, The Last Gazette, The Last Register, The Last Star-Ledger, The Last Monitor, The Last Observer, The Last Evening Sun, The Last Journal, The Last Times
and The Last Express comprise the catalogue of The Last Newspaper exhibition, curated by Richard Flood and Benjamin Godsill.

The final catalogue compilation includes
over 100 contributorsarticles and exclusive interviews with participating artists as well as texts and special features concerning an expanded selection of individuals and organisations whose work addresses the news, the medium of the newspaper and their evolving form and function.

The catalogue will soon be available from the New Museum's Store for
$15. More details to follow on the European distribution – see update here. The exhibition continues at the New Museum until 9 January 2011.

Table of contents of the 10 issues:

Issue 1: The Last Post
October 6, 2010
Cover: ‘Ink vs Link’. Press Room of The Richmond Planet, c. 1899
Editorial: ‘Welcome to The Last Post, The Last Gazette, The Last Register...’ by Latitudes
Picture Agent (Our singular picture agency): Kirstine Roepstorff
Media Habits: Dara Birnbaum
Exclusive Interview: ‘Double Trouble’, Lorena Muñoz-Alonso interviews TLN artist Pierre Bismuth
Feature: ‘Lights, Camera...Banality’, Kolja Reichert on Marie Voignier’s Hearing the Shape of a Drum (2010)
‘Working with Utopians’ by Richard Flood and Benjamin Godsill
The Next Newspaper (Profiling the organizations, projects, initiatives and individuals redefining ink-and-paper news): ProPublica
Fit to Print: ‘The (L.A.) Times it is A-Changin’ by Adam Chadwick
100 Years Ago…: The Salt Lake Herald-Republican
Cartoon: ‘The Woods: Teen Balls’ by Francesc Ruiz
Advertising: Ester Partegàs with Rob McKenzie

Issue 2: The Last Gazette
October 13, 2010
Cover: ‘Sorry for the Metaphor’. Special cover by Amalia Pica (and page 3)
Editorial: ‘34 People Like This’ by Latitudes
Focus: ‘A system is not imagined, it is real’, Julienne Lorz on TLN artist Hans Haacke’s News (1969/2008)
Dirt Sheet: Janine Armin on the newspaper-as-catalogue
Picture Agent: Ilana Halperin
The Next Newspaper: Clay Shirky
Photo essay: ‘Picture Mining’ by Ines Schaber
Obituary: ‘Sorry we’re dead’, Andrew Losowsky on TLN artist Adam McEwen’s Untitled (Caster) (2010)
Fit to Print: Adam Chadwick on hyperlocal citizen journalism
100 Years Ago…: Daily Public Ledger
In Brief: ‘Sac Bee Cuts’
Media Habits: Luis Camnitzer
Infographic: ‘U.S. Gazettes: Average Circulation’ by Irina Chernyakova
Cartoon: ‘The Woods: Money’ by Francesc Ruiz
Advertising: Ester Partegàs

Issue 3: The Last Register
October 20, 2010
Cover: ‘Exhibit: Exposed!’. Installing TLN wall text
Report: ‘Reaction Distraction’: Gwen Schwartz on the TLN talk with participating artists Nate Lowman, Aleksandra Mir and Sarah Charlesworth
Focus: Doryun Chong on TLN artist Adrian Piper’s Vanilla Nightmares (1986)
Media Habits: Dora García
Dirt Sheet: Janine Armin on truth and fiction
Picture Agent: Sergio Vega
The Next Newspaper: Paul Schmelzer on the American Independent News Network
Feature: ‘Broadcasting’, Joe Salzman on the representation of the journalists on TV
Exclusive interview: Latitudes with TLN cartoonist Francesc Ruiz
‘Patricia Esquivias on...The French Revolution’
100 Years Ago…: New York Tribune
Feature: ‘Hyphen-ated’ by Stephen Spretnjak
Photo essay: ‘Behind the Scenes’, Installing ‘The Last Newspaper’
Cartoon: ‘The Woods: Scratch Lottery’ by Francesc Ruiz
Advertising: Ester Partegàs with Adam Shecter

Issue 4: The Last Star-Ledger
October 27, 2010
Cover & Picture Agent: Special cover by Haegue Yang (and page 12)
Exclusive interview: ‘Rank and File’, Latitudes interviews Ignasi Aballí
Focus: ‘A Newspaper is Never Complete, Because News is Never Complete’, Interview with Ed Pierce from the archive of TLN partner organization StoryCorps + ‘StoryCorps Key Facts’
Focus: ‘Execution, Ejaculation, Exhibition’, Collin Munn on TLN artist Dash Snow’s Untitled (2006)
The Next Newspaper: Latitudes interviews Nick Mrozowsky about i
Dirt Sheet: Janine Armin on TLN artist François Bucher
‘Patricia Esquivias on... Communism’
100 Years Ago…: The Tacoma Times
Media Habits: Nicoline van Harskamp
Cartoon: ‘The Woods: Specialization’ by Francesc Ruiz
Advertising : Ester Partegàs with Rob McKenzie

Issue 5: The Last Monitor
November 3, 2010
Cover: ‘Today & Yesterday’. Gustav Metzger, Eichmann and the Angel, 2005
Exclusive interview: ‘Eating the Wall Street Journal’, Janine Armin with TLN artist William Pope.L
Feature: ‘Today and Yesterday’, Sophie O’Brien on Gustav Metzger
Picture Agent: Jordan Wolfson
The Next Newspaper: The San Francisco Panorama by Irina Chernyakova
Fit to Print: Adam Chadwick on the digital divide
100 Years Ago…: The Bisbee Daily Review
Media Habits: Mark von Schlegell
Focus: ‘Who Framed Sarah Charleswoth?’, Marcel Janco on TLN artist Sarah Charlesworth
Readers’ Lives: ‘Paper-Weight Champion’ by Harley Spiller
Feature: ‘Heralding the Gizmo’, Max Andrews on Kirstine Roepstorff
Readers’ Lives: ‘My Name is Marc D’Andre and I’m a Newspaper Addict’
Infographic: Facebook poll: where do @NewMuseum followers get their news?
Cartoon: ‘The Woods: Tools’ by Francesc Ruiz
Advertising : Ester Partegàs with Holly Coulis and Ridley Howard

Issue 6: The Last Observer
November 10, 2010
Cover: ‘Truth Study?’. Installation view of Wolfgang Tillmans Truth Study Center (NY) (2010)
Exclusive interview: ‘Is this True or Not?’, Lorena Muñoz-Alonso with TLN artist Wolfgang Tillmans
Focus: ‘There’s not Enough Rage These Days’, Greg Barton & Collin Munn on TLN artist Judith Bernstein
Picture Agent: Renzo Martens
Media Habits: City-as-School Students
Feature: ‘Relationship Status’ by Manuel Segade
Focus: ‘‘Old News’ to me’ by Lars Bang Larsen + ‘Nothing New About Old News’
Feature: ‘Editorial Curatorial’ by Marcel Janco
The Next Newspaper: Patch. Andrew Losowsky interviews Warren Webster, company president
Report: Irina Chernyakova on the ‘Perpetual Peace Project’ of TLN partner the Slought Foundation
Fit to Print: Adam Chadwick on The Huffington Post
100 years Ago…: The News-Herald
Cartoon: ‘The Woods: Backcover’ by Francesc Ruiz
Advertising: Ester Partegàs

Issue 7: The Last Evening Sun
November 17, 2010
Cover: 'Without Rain Partial Nights Aerial Days'. Special cover by Julia Rometti & Victor Costales (and page 12)
Feature: ‘Translating Rubble’, Kathleen Ritter on Mark Manders
Focus: ‘Floor Tautology’, Simone Menegoi on TLN artist Luciano Fabro’s Pavimento–Tautologia (1967) + ‘Fabricating Fabro’ by Shannon Bowser
Special pull-out poster: Installation pictures, checklist of TLN + ‘Your week in Headlines’ by New Museum Facebook and Twitter followers
Feature: 'Thomas Hirschhorn ♥ Queens', Charity Scribner on TLN artist Thomas Hirschhorn
Feature: 'Red and black all over, again' Irina Chernyakova interviews The Last... newspapers’ designer Chad Kloepfer
Focus: TLN project Jeffrey Inaba/C-Lab’s Cloudy with a chance of Certainty (2010) + ‘C-What?’ by Greg Barton
Media Habits: Michael Rakowitz
The Next Newspaper: WikiLeaks
Dirt Sheet: Janine Armin at the Taipei and the Gwangju Biennials
Picture Agent: Maria Loboda
Cartoon: ‘The Woods: Flavor of the month’ by Francesc Ruiz
100 Years Ago…: Palestine Daily Herald
Advertising: Ester Partegàs

Issue 8: The Last Journal
November 24, 2010
Cover: ‘Le Petit Journal’. Fernando Bryce, from the series L'Humanité (2009–2010)
Feature: 'L'Humanité', Yasmil Raymond on Fernando Bryce
Report: 'Independent Gazette', Lorena Muñoz-Alonso on The Independent by Damián Ortega and Can Altay’s The Church Street Partners' Gazette + Damián Ortega talks with Alona Pardo
Media Habits: Ester Partegàs
Brazil Focus: 'The Imaginery Newspaper', Chris Dercon on Luciano Figueiredo + ‘Jornal da Cidade’, Ana Paula Cohen on 28b
Focus: 'Boetti e His Double', Christian Rattemeyer on TLN artist Alighiero e Boetti's Corriere Della Sera (1976)
The Next Newspaper: Crowd Sourcing – spot.us / emphas.is, by Irina Chernyakova
Exclusive interview: 'The Days of This Society...', Desiree B. Ramos interviews TLN artist Rirkrit Tiravanija
Focus: 'Paper view' Gwen Schwartz with New Museum visitors
Focus: 'What's CUP?', on TLN partner organization The Center for Urban Pedagogy, by Gwen Schwartz and Max Andrews
Picture Agent: Adrià Julià
Focus: '29 Days Later', Sarah Wang on Larry Johnson’s TLN work Untitled Green Screen Memory (2010) + ‘2009 California Fires’ by Collin Munn
Cartoon: 'The Woods: Creation' by Francesc Ruiz
100 Years Ago...: The Marion Daily Mirror
Advertising: Ester Partegàs

Issue 9: The Last Times
December 1, 2010
Cover: Peter Piller, Pfeile (Arrows), Archiv Peter Piller 2000-2006
Exclusive interview: ‘Bedeutungsflächen, In Löcher blicken, Ortsbesichtigungen...’, Julienne Lorz talks to Peter Piller
Focus: ‘Press Victim’, Collin Munn on TLN artist Mike Kelley's Timeless/Authorless Series (1995) + ‘Mike on Mike’, Mike Santistevan on Mike Kelley
Picture Agent: Pablo Vargas Lugo
100 Years Ago…: The Seattle Star
The Next Newspaper: Web aggregation, by Irina Chernyakova
Focus: ‘Sarah’s Sex Sport-Trait’, Lorena Muñoz-Alonso on Fat, Forty and Flab-ulous (1990) by TLN artist Sarah Lucas
Media Habits: Carey Young
Dirt Sheet: Janine Armin on Allen Ruppersberg’s TLN work Screamed from Life (1982)
Focus: 'Dutiful Scrivener', Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere on their work for TLN + Mark Twain’s ‘Amended Obituaries’ (1902)
Focus and exclusive interview: ‘Graphite Testimony’, Greg Barton on Andrea Bowers’ Eulogy to One and Another (2006) featured in TLN
Exclusive interview: ‘Having It All’, Latitudes talks with TLN co-curator Richard Flood about TLN artist Robert Gober
Cartoon: 'The Woods: Fahrenheit 451' by Francesc Ruiz
Advertising: Ester Partegàs

Issue 10: The Last Express
December 8, 2010
Cover: Hans Haacke, News (1969/2008)
Exclusive interview: ‘I’m still nostalgic vis-à-vis image making’, Rodrigo Moura interviews Mauro Restiffe
Dirt Sheet: Janine Armin on TLN participant Dexter Sinister’s The First/Last Newspaper (2009)
Report: 'Fit to Print?: The newsroom reinvented', Latitudes reports on the New Museum talk between Adam Chadwick and Jason Fry
100 Years Ago...: Los Angeles Herald
Focus: ‘Blu Dot: What?’, Gwen Schwartz and Mariana Cánepa Luna on TLN partner organization Blu Dot
The Next Newspaper: The Daily, by Irina Chernyakova
Focus: ‘Do you like milk and honey?’, Greg Barton on TLN artist Emily Jacir’s Sexy Semite (2000-2)
Picture Agent: Simon Fujiwara
Media Habits: Michalis Pichler
Feature: ‘Embrace the Ambiguity’, TLN co-curators Richard Flood and Benjamin Godsill reflect on the exhibition
Focus: ‘Reading the Reader’, Greg Barton and Irina Chernyakova on TLN partner organisation NetLab’s the New City Reader
Exclusive interview: ‘The Wires’, Janine Armin interviews TLN artist Hans Haacke
Cartoon: 'The Woods: The End' by Francesc Ruiz
Advertising: Ester Partegàs

New Museum
235 Bowery 
New York, NY 10002, USA
Wednesday 11-6 pm; Thursday 11-9
pm; Friday-Sunday 11-6 pm;
Monday and Tuesday closed
http://www.newmuseum.org


All images: Latitudes | www.lttds.org




'THE LAST JOURNAL' AVAILABLE NOW! #8 issue of the 10 Latitudes-edited newspapers for 'The Last Newspaper' exhibition, New Museum

Issue 8: 'The Last Journal'
(READ IT ON ISSUU)
 

24 November 2010

Cover:
Fernando Bryce, from the series L'Humanité (2009–2010)
Feature: 'L'Humanité', Yasmil Raymond on Fernando Bryce
Feature: 'Independent Gazette', Lorena Muñoz-Alonso reports from London on two newspaper-inspired exhibitions: 'The Independent' (Damián Ortega at The Curve, Barbican) and ‘Can Altay: The Church Street Partners' Gazette’, The Showroom. Plus Damián Ortega exchanges impressions with curator Alona Pardo on his show.
Media Habits: Ester Partegàs, TLN advertising department artist
Brazil Focus: 'The Imaginery Newspaper', Chris Dercon on Luciano Figueiredo & Ana Paula Cohen on 'Jornal 28b', the newspaper produced during the 28th Bienal de São Paulo.

Focus: 'Boetti e His Double', Christian Rattemeyer on TLN artist Alighiero e Boetti's Corriere Della Sera (1976)
The Next Newspaper (Profiling the organizations, projects, initiatives and individuals redefining ink-and-paper news):
CROWD-SOURCING – SPOT.US / EMPHAS.IS

Exclusive interview: 'The Days of This Society...', Desiree B. Ramos interviews TLN artist Rirkrit Tiravanija
Focus: 'Paper view'
Gwen Schwartz asked New Museum visitors about their experiences of TLN

Focus: 'What's CUP?' by Gwen Schwartz and Max Andrews
Picture Agent-Our singular picture agency: Adrià Julià
Focus: '29 Days Later', Sarah Wang on TLN work Untitled Green Screen Memory (2010) by Larry Johnson + 2009 California Fires by Collin Munn
Cartoon:
'The Woods' by Francesc Ruiz
Advertising Department:
Ester Partegàs













'THE DAYS OF THIS SOCIETY...'
New Museum curatorial fellow Desiree B. Ramos meets ‘The Last Newspaper’ artist Rirkrit Tiravanija

 

Above and below: Rirkrit Tiravanija, Untitled (the days of this society is numbered/September 15–October 12, 2008), 2010.
Acrylic and newspaper on linen. 13 parts, all measuring 86 1/8 x 84 1/8 x 1 inches each. Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brownʼs enterprise.


There I am; it’s 5pm sharp, and I have just arrived at Gavin Brown’s newly-expanded Meatpacking District art gallery. I’m checking out the new space while I wait for Rirkrit, who suddenly pulls up around the back door with a few groceries; turns out he’s cooking a paella dinner for a few friends. We walk around the space for a few minutes and before heading towards the kitchen in the back of the gallery. There I see a few art handlers setting up pots, tables, and chairs for Rirkrit’s guests. “We don’t have much time, fire away,” he says, looking at the recorder and the paper I am holding in my hands. We sit on a wooden bench and start our conversation. I have met with Rirkrit several times, and besides being a great artist he is really down to earth and approachable. Every time I talk to him it is quite a busy scenario all around.

Desiree B. Ramos: How did you become an artist?

Rirkrit Tiravanija: By accident! I actually wanted to be a photojournalist and then mistakenly took some art history classes and became curious about art. I left the university from the history department, and I went to art school and I went to talk to the counselor about the idea of studying art. So I had an appointment, I went to the meeting and I had to wait in this kind of lobby library. I was just standing there, looking around the shelf, and there was a book that stood out from the shelf from the Ontario College of Art, so I just pulled it out, took down the address and left. So it was kind of accidental.

DB: What was your first art piece?

RT: Umm, that’s a debate. It was actually an image that my father took of me; I made this plasticine sculpture on my ear, it was like an ear extension, so that I looked like a Vulcan. So I would say that was my first sculpture.


DB: Do you still have it, or a record of it?

RT: I have a picture that my father took, but I don’t have the actual plasticine. I guess I could always remake it.

DB: That would be fun...

RT: Yeah, that would be fun. Wow, you just gave me a new idea!

DB: What was your first political work?

RT: Well, it depends on what is political, you know, if personal is political. The first work I made in art school, officially made in art school, was about identity, about me being in the West and trying to figure out what that was. It was the first letter of the Thai alphabet drawn on cardboard, and then it had a Thai dictionary explanation with this alphabet in English. So in a way, that had a kind of cultural politics in it. I would say my work is always asking those kinds of personal political questions, I mean, about the self and about identity.

DB: What got you into cooking?

RT: It was the simplest thing I could do. I was working in Chicago on questions of, about, cultural artifacts. I worked on this conceptual work with the idea that these artifacts were displays, again, about identity also, and that they were missing; they were fragmented in a kind of gap, or there was a gap that I thought needed to be questioned.


DB: So it was natural for you to mix cooking with art?

RT: Exactly, because I was looking at pots, bowls and plates, and Buddha statues, and these were all objects of everyday use in my culture, so first I basically decided to just cook so that these things would always be in play and from that it became, well, it was always about the people. Of course these are things that were used everyday, which have been taken out of context, put onto display because they were valued in a different situation, and looked at through the Western eye as if they were somehow valuable in relation to the idea of culture. But for me it was really about the life around the object.

DB: What’s your favorite thing to cook?

RT: I don’t have a favorite thing to cook.

DB: Nothing that gets you more into the act of cooking and engaging with people?

RT: It’s not so much about the cooking, not about the food or any particular dish; it’s about the act and then ... I think it’s always more communal to cook a big pot of curry than to make a piece of steak. But I actually just recently cooked a lot of steak for 2,000 people so I’m actually wrong, I could cook steak for a lot of people but, of course, it’s about the activity of cooking. When we made this kind of barbecue grill, Argentinean style, the asado, it’s a communal activity in itself. So, it was just a matter of scale. People normally do it with families but here we extended it so we could involve even more people at the same moment, so it became something else.

DB: Where do you get your ideas from? Are you inspired by something in specific or do they randomly come to you? Do you get them from looking at things, reading, or conversing with people?

RT: I think it’s all of that. It’s an ongoing process that I have and I think many artists have, which is like you’re always thinking, looking and everything that you experience becomes a question or a possibility. It’s a combination; I’m looking at certain things that I’m interested in but, on the other hand, I’m always very receptive to what is happening around me, and that becomes a trigger for other things.


DB: I’m wondering how you go on varying so much in terms of media when it comes to your work. Is it difficult to maneuver all these different types of expression, ranging from cooking to investigations about architecture... ?

RT: I’m not interested in style, I’m interested in content and if all the elements make sense, they all have certain roots or they all certainly have a relation to each other. It could be an eight hour video or a ten hour cooking session, yet they all bring people to the same place.

DB: Do you consider your piece now on view in The Last Newspaper at the New Museum, Untitled (the days of this society are numbered/September 21, 2009), part of a series along with other text works you have recently produced?

RT: I consider them like signage, like stop signs, road signs. They form a series but they can make you pay attention to a certain place and a certain moment when you are confronted by them. I think about that layering of the newspaper, which is an activity I’m very interested in, and in the activity of information being gathered. There are just a lot of layers there for me, from the ads to the typeface of the newspaper itself. There’s a lot of coincidence – or accidents, or maybe even intentions – in the way that certain things get laid out on these pages. The sign makes you stop and pay attention to the other things happening behind it.

DB: Would you be able to explain further how that text in particular explores the social role of the artist?

RT: ‘The days of this society is numbered’ is attributed to the situation in 1968; obviously, at that time it was a provocation within the context of a manifestation against the society, or rather of society against a particular group of people, the institution, people in control. And I would say that, of course, those moments reoccur, those conditions can still exist.

DB: I’m sure everybody asks about the grammar…

RT: Yes, well, it’s a bad translation of French. The mistake makes people react.

 
DB: And the dates on the newspaper…

RT: Well some in the series do make a reference to, for example, the market crash of 2008, just at the end of George Bush’s presidency. It has all been a commentary about the Bush years and certainly in conjunction with the market crash.

DB: What will we see from you in the near future? What are you working on now?

RT: I’m working on a film which will be about a retired Thai farmer in the countryside, and I hope that people will get to see it, or that it’s good enough for people to see it.





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