Rirkrit Tiravanija

Rirkrit Tiravanija

Creative Time Flags

April 4, 2018 – April 25, 2018

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center presents UNTITLED 2017 (FEAR EATS THE SOUL) (WHITE FLAG), 2017, by Rirkrit Tiravanija, part of Creative Time’s Pledges of Allegiance.

The message of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s flag is a reference to German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (the English translation of ‘Angst essen Seele auf’). The film first appeared in Tiravanija’s Untitled 1994 (Fear Eats the Soul), a bar he constructed at Esther Schipper’s storefront gallery in Cologne that only served beer and cola. Fassbinder’s two lead characters, a German cleaner and a Moroccan mechanic, meet in the film’s opening scene over the aforesaid drinks, and commence an unlikely relationship that brings out their own deepest fears as much as the xenophobia and racism of their surroundings.

Participating artists in Pledges of Allegiance include Tania Bruguera, Alex Da Corte, Jeremy Deller, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ann Hamilton, Robert Longo, Josephine Meckseper, Marilyn Minter, Vik Muniz, Jayson Musson, Ahmet Ögüt, Yoko Ono, Trevor Paglen, Pedro Reyes, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Nari Ward.

Pledges of Allegiance was originally conceived by Alix Browne and developed in collaboration with Cian Browne, Fabienne Stephan, and Opening Ceremony. 


Rirkrit Tiravanija

As a Thai artist born in Argentina and now living between New York, Berlin, and Chiang Mai, Tiravanija’s work often carries strains of his own nomadic existence, the blending and re-combination of different cultural contexts. Rather than insisting on a particular reality or truth, his work creates open-ended contexts for people to grapple with these questions themselves. The strength of Tiravanija’s work lies precisely in its ephemerality, and the slippery ways it escapes definition, the way it takes the material of the every-day and re-stages it, allowing the viewer a perspective at once banal and deeply profound about the quickly fleeting nature of life itself. Tiravanija received his BA from the Ontario College of art in 1984 and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1986. From 1985-1986, he participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program. He has received numerous grants and awards, including the Absolut Art Award (2010); The Hugo Boss Prize (2004); The Lucelia Artist Award (20039; and the Gordon Matta Clark Foundation Award (1993), among others. He has had individual exhibitions at the following institutions: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, United States (2014); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, United States (2013); Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom (2013); Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2012); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, (2012); MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), New York, United States (2012); Bonnierskonsthall, Stockholm, Sweden (2011); Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, United States (2009); Drawing Center, New York, United States (2008), among others. He has also participated at group exhibitions at the following institutions: The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California (2014); The National Museum of Norway, Oslo, Norway (2014); The New Museum, New York, United States (2013); The Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2012), among many others.He has participated in various biennials, including: The Sharjah Biennial 12, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2015 & 2007); The 30th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2013); The XIV International Biennial of Sculpture, Carrara, Italy (2012); The 9th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2012); Whitney Biennial, New York, United States (2006); Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Baulo, Brazil (2006); 2nd Guangzhou Trienal, Guangzhou, China (2005); The 50th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2003 & 1999); The 7th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2001), among others.

Pledges of Allegiance

Atlanta Contemporary is a participating institution in Pledges of Allegiance, a nationwide, year-long public art project featuring a serialized commission of flags created by acclaimed artists and presented by New York-based public art nonprofit Creative Time. Conceived in response to the current political climate, Pledges of Allegiance aims to inspire a sense of community among cultural institutions, and begin articulating the urgent response our political moment demands.

Creative Time

Creative Time, the New York based public arts non-profit, is committed to working with artists on the dialogues, debates, and dreams of our time. Creative Time presents the most innovative art in the public realm, providing new platforms to amplify the voices of artists, including the Creative Time Summit — an international conference convening at the intersection of art and social justice.Since 1974, Creative Time has produced over 350 groundbreaking public art projects that ignite the imagination, explore ideas that shape society, and engage millions of people around the globe. The non-profit that since its inception has been at the forefront of socially engaged public art seeks to convert the power of artists’ ideas into works that inspire and challenge the public. Creative Time projects stimulate dialogue on timely issues, and initiate a dynamic experience between artists, sites, and audiences. To promote the project via social media use #PledgesofAllegiance and tag @CreativeTimeNYC (Instagram) & @CreativeTime (Twitter)

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