Rirkrit Tiravanija (Thai, born Argentina 1961). untitled
(the days of this society is numbered / December 7, 2012). 2014
Instead of producing traditional art objects, Tiravanija foregrounds participation and interaction, developing works that involve shared meals, social spaces, and collaborative activities. In untitled (the days of this society is numbered / December 7, 2012), Tiravanija collaged pages from a Thai newspaper printed on the date of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s eighty-fifth birthday party, a massive public celebration in the face of the monarch’s deteriorating health and the country’s impending military coups. The artist’s stenciled phrase, “The days of this society is numbered,” is a purposeful mistranslation of theorist Guy Debord’s 1979 dystopian statement (replacing “are” with “is”), signaling the fragility of cultures in an increasingly global landscape.