Professor Rirkrit Tiravanija in solo exhibit at Glenstone Museum

BY Audrey Deng, September 25, 2019

This Thursday, a solo exhibit of Professor Rirkrit Tiravanija’s work will open at the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, MD. The exhibit is titled FEAR EATS THE SOUL.


Tiravanija, born in 1961, is a Thai contemporary artist whose installations often take the form of stages or rooms. In these enclosed spaces, Tiravanija presents art that involves sharing meals, cooking, reading or playing music; spaces where social interactions take place are a core element in his work. He previously studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, the Banff Center School of Fine Arts, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Whitney Independent Studies Program in New York. Tiravanija lives between New York, Berlin and Chiang Mai.


Besides the solo exhibit opening at the Glenstone, Tiravanija’s work can also be seen at the Venice Bienniale’s 58th Annual Art Exhibition, as part of the exhibit Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy: Mare Nostrum, curated by Phong Bui and Francesca Pietropaolo. The Bienniale will close on Nov. 24, 2019.


He also has a new permanent piece at London’s Institute for Contemporary Arts—a sake bar with communal seating. “Open to the public and situated within the ICA’s lower bar, untitled 2019 (the form of the flower is unknown to the seed) comprises a sake bar with communal seating and tables set within a painted sunrise and sunset. Purpose-built for the ICA, the work includes crockery hand-crafted in Tiravanija’s Chiang Mai studio and lighting created in collaboration with artist Rafael Domenech.”


FEAR EATS THE SOUL takes its name from the words which Tiravanija will spray paint on a Gallery wall of the Glenstone Museum. Over time, his words will be obscured under layers of graffiti by local artists. However, this is just one aspect of the solo exhibit. According to the Glenstone Museum, “The presentation will offer a suite of interactive activities, including a soup kitchen serving recipes provided by the artist, a silk-screening T-shirt workshop, a facsimile of the artist’s first one-person gallery show in New York installed with ceramic sculptures.”


FEAR EATS THE SOUL opens tomorrow, Sep. 26, 2019, and will stay open into next year.