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from the aftermath of an opening event . It is basically inst allat ion art in format , but
t his is a term t hat many of it s pr act it ioner s would resist; r at her t han forming a
coherent and dist inct ive transformat ion of space (in the manner of Ilya Kabakov’s
“tot al inst allat ion,” a theatr ical mise- en- scène), relat ional art works insist upon use
rather than contemplat ion.11 And unlike the dist inct ively branded per sonalit ies of
young Br it ish art , it is often hard to ident ify who has made a part icular piece of
“relat ional” art , since it tends to make use of exist ing cultural forms— including
other works of art—and remixes them in the manner of a DJ or programmer.12
Moreover, many of t he art ist s Bourr iaud discusses have collabor ated wit h one
another, further blurr ing the impr int of individual author ial st atus. Several have
also curated each other s’ work in exhibit ions— such as Gillick’s “ﬁlter ing” of Mar ia
Lind’s curator ship in What If: Art on the Verge of Architecture and Design (Moderna
Museet , Stockholm, 2000) and Tir av anija’s Utopia St at ion for t he 2003 Venice
Biennale (co - curated with Hans Ulr ich Obr ist and Molly Nesbit).13 I now wish to
f o c u s o n t h e w o r k o f t w o a r t i s t s i n p a r t i c u l a r, T i r a v a n i j a a n d G i l l i c k , s i n c e
Bourr iaud deems them both to be paradigmat ic of “relat ional aesthet ics.”
Rirkr it Tiravanija is a New York-based art ist , born in Buenos Aires in 1961 to
Thai parent s and raised in Thailand, Ethiopia, and Canada. He is best known for
For example, Jorge Pardo’s Pier for Skulptur. Projekte Münster (1997). Pier compr ised a 50-meterlong jett y of California redwood with a small pavilion at the end. The work was a funct ional pier, providing moor ing for boat s, while a cigarette machine att ached to the wall of the pavilion encouraged
people to stop and look at the view.
This strateg y is referred to by Bourr iaud as “postproduct ion,” and is elaborated in his follow-up
book to Relat ional Aesthet ics: “Since the early ninet ies, an ever-increasing number of art works have been
created on the basis of preexist ing works; more and more art ist s interpret , reproduce, reexhibit , or use
works made by other s or available cultural product s. . . . These art ist s who insert their own work into
that of other s contr ibute to the eradicat ion of the tradit ional dist inct ion bet ween product ion and consumpt ion, creat ion and copy, readymade and or iginal work. The mater ial they manipulate is no longer
pr imar y.” Bourr iaud argues that postproduct ion differ s from the ready-made, which quest ions authorship and t he inst itut ion of art , because it s emphasis is on recombining exist ing cultur al art ifact s in
o r d e r t o i m b u e t h e m w i t h n e w m e a n i n g . S e e B o u r r i a u d , P o s t p ro d u c t i o n ( N e w Yo r k : L u k a s a n d
The best example of this current obsession with collaborat ion as a model...
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This document was uploaded on 02/20/2014 for the course PHILOSOPHY 244 at University of Tennessee.
- Spring '09