As you climb the stairs and enter the gallery filled with paintings, the senses are awakened, but not what you're expecting. The smell...wait, let me put my finger on it...some sort of food, wait, broth? The smell and setting are at a disconnect. Museums aren't supposed to smell like this. Whatever the smell, it lures you in. If it's soup, it must be the ultimate soup. As you make your way around the floor an AHA moment is there for the taking. The museum guard tells you, "You may enter". I felt like I had won the lottery. Little did I know, this pleasure can be enjoyed by everyone.
You get one serving. It tastes as good as it smells, actually even better...Thai green curry. You can't get it at a restaurant; you can't get it from a food truck; you can't get it anywhere, but here. Money can't buy you the ultimate Thai green curry.
In 1992, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Thai conceptual and installation artist, created a show entitled Untitled (Free) at 303 Gallery in New York. Interested in exploring the possibility of creating congenial social spaces in places usually reserved for the quiet contemplation of art, Tiravanija transferred everything from the gallery's back office—even the dealer and her staff—to the exhibition space. He then converted the empty office space into a kind of restaurant, where he cooked curry and rice, serving it to visitors free of charge.
Look, there's a fridge. I'm allowed to open it and serve myself water which I didn't know I needed. Well, anyone can.
The Ingredient List on the Fridge Door
The Most Delicious Water Ever
In Untitled 1999, as well as in the earlier makeshift-kitchen works, Tiravanija conveyed a sense of both displacement and adaptability, suggesting a parallel to the experiences of both frequent global travellers and refugees alike.
Curry is served every day from noon to 3 pm and Fridays 4 pm until 7 pm.
Other highlights of the day...