Rirkrit Tiravanija

Catalogue (Back of Postcard Reads) Memories

Residencies often precede an exhibition of the artistís work and feature the piece(s) created during that period of time as the basis for the show. Sometimes the opposite is true. In July 1996, more than a year after the exhibition Economies: Hans Accola and Rirkrit Tiravanija had closed, Tiravanija returned to Minneapolis to participate in a yearlong artist residency. He proposed to have local teens document the memories of those who saw his installation Untitled, 1995 (Back of Postcard reads:) in Economies.

Beginning in the fall of 1996 and continuing throughout the school year, students from the Minnesota Center for Arts Education interviewed people who had viewed the exhibition. Gallery guards, curators, and local and national visitors shared their impressions of the opening-night party and/or interacting with the detritus from the festivities and the blanket-and-pillow-strewn tent that was the centerpiece of Tiravanijaís installation. The interviews became the basis for the studentsí project Catalogue (Back of Postcard Reads) Memories, an artistís book that consists of a series of thirty-two postcards enclosed in an envelope. The cards present the teensí reflections on the residency and document themes raised during their research and discussions with the artist.

This book was incorporated into Tiravanijaís own response to his residency and the Economies exhibition: a limited-edition multiple of the same title that includes photographs, drawings, maps, notes, audio, video, and other documentation. Often residencies provide an artist with opportunities for reflection and investigation that inspire a new creation. . . .