Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tiravanija's gift

"Tiravanija is a Potlatch-Conceptualist. The Native American potlatch is a banquet lasting several days, given by a member of the tribe: artistically speaking, that's what Tiravanija does for his art-world tribe. He cooks, you come; he gives, you take. The word potlatch means "big feed," hence Tiravanija is a "feeder." In the dialect of the Northwest Haida tribe, potlatch also means "killing wealth"; in other words, to give something for free is to undemline wealth. Tiravanija seems to suggest that as wealth is accumulated, fewer and fewer people can enjoy it. To buy means to strike a deal. Things are clearly understood--a stasis occurs. A gift is different. A gift is more mysterious than property. The weight of a gift continually shifts from giver to receiver, creating reciprocal obligations. A gift also involves an emanation of Eros."(A short history of Rirkrit Tiravanija - Thai artist who cooks meals as installation art
Art in America, Feb, 1996 by Jerry Saltz

- See: Artists

:: note :: ... around the "holiday" season gift was a plague ... this "shifting weight" was a burden not clearly understood ... "killing wealth" a compromising act ...