Rirkrit Tiravanija is interested in creating open-ended situations that inhabit the gap between art and life, and his works are directly affected by audiences, chance occurrences, and the passage of time. The objects in this case are multiples (limited-edition items) and are likewise open to the possibility of manipulation. Non-use, here necessary for archival purposes, will keep the objects pristine, while use will further instill them with meaning–a reminder of the transitory nature of art as lived experience.
The labels on the three cans of curry paste (a basic ingredient used in Thai cooking) feature a photograph of the artist with his mother and sister. The eyeglasses, replicas of those worn by the artist, are engraved with short, poetic phrases: “long river,” “orange saffron,” “a single line,” “at twilight.” When the glasses are worn, the text both obscures one’s vision and suggests “visions” in the mind. The large accordion-folded scrapbook, made to be handled and read like a map, is a visual journal including snapshots of Tiravanija’s travels and past projects. Included are keepsake items such as a page from A Book of Tea (containing the philosophies of Teaism, an Asian belief system similar to Taoism) and a map of railroads in Europe.