chapter
3 Pages

Rirkrit Tiravanija

Creating these sites of pure potentiality has been Tiravanija’s primary artistic pursuit, and

none has been more ambitious than his ongoing project, the Land. Co-founded in 1998 with

the Thai artist, Kamin Lertchaiprasert, the Land is an ongoing experiment in creative forms of

self-sustainable living; both artists firmly insist that it not be considered “art.” Situated near

the remote village of Sanpatong, Thailand, its small allotment of acreage contains a pond,

two rice fields, and a number of artist-designed structures built to meet the various needs of

its peripatetic residents. With no electricity or running water, occupants are encouraged to

contribute innovative solutions to infrastructural issues. The Danish collective SUPERFLEX,

for example, implemented a bio-gas production and storage system powered by water buffalo

manure that fuels the facilities’ stoves and lamps. Tiravanija designed a group house structured

around “the three spheres of needs,” with a ground floor dedicated to communal gatherings and

conversation, the second to reading and meditation, and the third to sleep.2 Given the global

circuits in which contemporary artists operate, the Land, Tiravanija says, represents “a meeting

point and a rest stop from our routines.”3 Existing outside of conventional notions of property

and ownership, it is a space in which artists’ creativity can be applied to life’s challenges without

bending to the market and exhibition pressures of the art world.