August 20, 2013  |  Artists, MoMA PS1
Doug Aitken’s Station to Station: A Nomadic Happening
Rendering of the Station to Station train. © Doug Aitken

Rendering of the Station to Station train. © Doug Aitken

Everyone is buzzing about Doug Aitken’s latest project, Station to Station: A Nomadic Happening, a train traveling from the Atlantic to the Pacific, making nine stops along the way to host one-night only, site-specific happenings throughout September.

The artist-driven public project will make a New York “stop” on Friday, September 6 (tickets are now on sale for $25), and all ticket sales will support non-traditional programming at Station to Station’s partner institutions, including MoMA PS1. The list of participating artists is extensive—including Allora & Cazadilla, Olafur Eliasson, Urs Fischer, Christian Jankowski, Ed Ruscha, Ryan Trecartin, and many more—but I’m particularly curious about a food happening organized by the father of “relational aesthetics,” Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Rirkrit Tiravanija. untitled 1992/1995 (free/still)

Rirkrit Tiravanija. untitled 1992/1995 (free/still). 1992/1995/2007/2011-. Refrigerator, table, chairs, wood, drywall, food and other materials, dimensions variable. © 2013 Rirkrit Tiravanija. Installation view, The Museum of Modern Art, 2012

Many of you will remember back in 2011 when the delicious smell of curry permeated the second floor of MoMA thanks to Tiravanija, who was restaging his seminal 1992 work Untitled (Free) in the Museum’s Contemporary Galleries. Just as he had in 1992, the Thai Conceptual artist transformed the pure white gallery environment into a social space, where Southeast Asian green curry—made from the artist’s secret family recipe—and jasmine rice were being served to visitors free of charge. For Tiravanija, the curry itself is not the artwork, but a construct for a social scenario in which the audience actively participates; in essence it’s a “social sculpture” in the tradition of Joseph Beuys. Tiravanija describes the work as “a platform for people to interact with the work itself but also with each other. A lot of it is also about a kind of experiential relationship, so you actually are not really looking at something, but you are within it, you are part of it. The distance between the artist and the art and the audience gets a bit blurred.”

For Station to Station’s New York event, Tiravanija will create a food “happening” in New York based on the idea of nomadism, inviting participants to explore different food stations and experiment with various types of meat. If his curry is any indication, this should be a foodie’s delight. Guess we’ll all find out together on September 6:

New York City Station To Station Stop
Friday, September 6, 6:30–10:30 p.m.
Duggal Greenhouse, Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York
The new, state-of-the-art Duggal Greenhouse is the setting for the New York happening and launch of Station to Station. Performers appearing in New York include No Age; Charlotte Gainsbourg and Connan Mockasin; Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti; YOSHIMIO (OOIOO/Boredoms), Hisham Akira Bharoocha (Soft Circle/Boredoms), and Ryan Sawyer (Lonewolf) TRIO; and others to be announced.