In 1992, Rirkrit Tiravanija created an exhibition entitled Untitled (Free) at 303 Gallery in New York. This landmark piece, in which the artist converted a gallery into a kitchen where he served rice and Thai curry for free, has been recreated at MoMA as part of the installation Contemporary Galleries: 1980–Now on view on the second floor. This back office curry kitchen has been replicated to scale, and the artist worked with MoMA to recreate the experience, with curry prepared and served by the Museum’s restaurant staff daily from noon—3:00 p.m.
In this deceptively simple conceptual piece, the artist invites the visitor to interact with contemporary art in a more sociable way, and blurs the distance between artist and viewer. You aren’t looking at the art, but are part of it—and are, in fact, making the art as you eat curry and talk with friends or new acquaintances.
In the video above, Laura Hoptman, curator in the Museum’s Department of Painting and Sculpture, discusses the work, and visitors share their reactions. But come see for yourself, Thai vegetable curry and rice will be served through February 8 only, and the original recipe can be found in the installation.