Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

In the mid-1990s, artists such as Philippe Parreno, Maurizio Cattelan, Elizabeth Peyton and Carsten Höller were lumped together under the rubric “relational aesthetics” by French critic Nicolas Bourriaud due to their interest in the rapidly changing nature of social interaction at the onset of the digital age. Artist Rirkrit Tiravanija has transformed the work of this generation of artists into the installation Rirkrit Tiravanija: Chew the Fat, an experience that is part informative, part calmative. Tiravanija filmed interviews with eleven of the “relational aesthetics” artists, most of whom have also collaborated previously with Tiravanija; these interviews took place on fishing boats, while walking along the banks of the Seine, on a German train and while checking e-mail. A feature-length edit of all the interviews screens on seven monitors, and five additional monitors show the full interviews with five of the participants. The gallery space has been covered with wall-to-wall orange carpeting, and large pillows are scattered about, so you can plop down and enjoy the entire project in comfort. The idea is to reveal the spirit of a specific generation of modern artists in a friendly environment that will foster feelings of sociability — the distance inherent in digital-age communication thus bridged and brought back to the meat world, at least for the duration of your involvement. Rirkrit Tiravanija: Chew the Fat opens with a free public reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 8, at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum on the Washington University campus (1 Brookings Drive; 314-935-4523 or The exhibit remains up through Monday, July 27; the museum is open every day except Tuesday. Admission is free.
Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: May 8. Continues through July 27, 2009

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Latest in Night & Day

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation