Untitled 2008-2011 (the map of the land of feeling) I
(Thai, born Argentina 1961)
2011. Scroll with digital printing, lithography, chine collé and screenprint, sheet (approx.): 36 x 334 1/2" (91.4 x 849.6 cm)
The son of a diplomat, Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija was born in Argentina, grew up in Bangkok, Thailand; Ethiopia; and Canada, and he now splits his time between New York, Berlin, and Chiang Mai, Thailand. The three scrolls in Untitled 2008–2011 (land of the map of feeling) I–III—each measuring 3 feet tall and approximately 28 feet wide—serve as a record and a reflection of his travels.
At the center of each scroll is a digital print of one of the three passports he has held as an adult, complete with visas and stamps indicating the countries he has entered and left. Overlapping and filling the space around these passports are motifs printed using three different techniques: lithography, chine collé, and screenprint. Many of these elements allude to maps, such as plans of cities he visited and lines indicating time zones. Other images refer to artists who have inspired him. For example, a silhouette of Marcel Broodthaers’ sculpture of mussels in a casserole relates to Tiravanija’s cooking performances, in which he creates a meal for people to eat together, often in a gallery space.
A three-dimensional work of art made by a variety of means, including carving wood, chiseling stone, casting or welding metal, molding clay or wax, or assembling materials.
A technique, used in conjunction with printmaking processes such as etching or lithography, that results in a two-layered paper support: a tissue-thin paper, cut to the size of the printing plate, and a larger, thicker support paper below. Both the tissue and the support sheet are placed on top of the inked plate and run together through the printing press, sometimes with a thin layer of adhesive between them to reinforce the bond produced through the pressure of the press. The process creates a subtle, delicate backdrop to the printed image. Chine is the French word for China, referring to the fact that the thin paper originally used with this technique was imported from China, as well as India or Japan; collé is the French word for "glued."
A stencil-based printmaking technique in which the first step is to stretch and attach a woven fabric (originally made of silk, but now more commonly of synthetic material) tightly over a wooden frame to create a screen. Areas of the screen that are not part of the image are blocked out with a variety of stencil-based methods. A squeegee is then used to press ink through the unblocked areas of the screen, directly onto paper. Screenprints typically feature bold, hard-edged areas of flat, unmodulated color. Also known as silkscreen and serigraphy.
A printmaking technique that involves drawing with greasy crayons or a liquid called tusche, on a polished slab of limestone; aluminum plates, which are less cumbersome to handle, may also be used. The term is derived from the Greek words for stone (litho) and drawing (graph). When the greasy image is ready to be printed, a chemical mixture is applied across the surface of the stone or plate in order to securely bond it. This surface is then dampened with water, which adheres only to the blank, non-greasy areas. Oily printer’s ink, applied with a roller, sticks to the greasy imagery and not to areas protected by the film of water. Damp paper is placed on top of this surface and run through a press to transfer the image. In addition to the traditional method described here, other types of lithography include offset lithography, photolithography, and transfer lithography.
A form of art, developed in the late 1950s, which involves the creation of an enveloping aesthetic or sensory experience in a particular environment, often inviting active engagement or immersion by the spectator.
Central to Tiravanija’s work, which usually takes the form of installations and performances, is collaboration. This work—his first experiment in printmaking—was no different: It took three years and over 40 collaborators, including master printers and students at Columbia University, to produce.