RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA
Thai, born Argentina, 1961
Untitled (bicycle shower)
2010
Bicycle, waterpump, hose, sprinkling can, stand, and bracket

“Tiravanija is another artist who is redefining what art can be and is well established as a figure who has influenced other artists,” explains BMA Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman. “Many people—artists and non-artists—were captivated by Tiravanija’s pieces of the 1990s for which he cooked Thai meals in gallery spaces and then offered the food to those who passed through the gallery.  There’s a special quality of sharing and community in his works.”

Hileman continues, “The Untitled (bicycle shower) piece that we’ve acquired speaks to another unusual but meaningful context for art and innovation—a unique space the artist founded in Thailand, that includes community gardens and a space designated for expressions of free speech, as well as experiments in art and design.  The bicycle shower serves a utilitarian function in this place outside of Chiang Mai, called ‘The Land,’ where there is no electricity or running water.  It suggests that the creative work of artists which is often centered around combining forms in new ways can serve a practical purpose and attend to basic human needs.  Again, this is an instance where connecting art back to the world at large becomes an important part of the mission of the BMA’s efforts around contemporary art.”

Frederick R. Weisman Contemporary Art Acquisitions Endowment, BMA 2011.95