Fall 2003 Talks
New York based artist, Tom Sachs (b.1966, New York City, NY) merges high and low aesthetic values and subject matter, constructing objects and large-scale installations out of paper, glue and other store-bought materials. Borrowing a term from Claude Levi-Strauss's The Savage Mind, Sachs is a self-described bricoleur, a do-it-yourself handyman who embraces craftsmanship and makeshift stylistics. In recent work, he has explored issues regarding consumer culture-appropriation and its relationship to contemporary art.
Rirkrit Tiravanija’s artistic practice may be characterized as an attempt to reshape our expectations of art. In his wide-ranging body of work—which includes performances, road trips, seminars, and site specific installations—Tiravanija (b.1961, Buenos Aires, Argentina) disrupts the traditional exhibition space to allow for innovative exchanges between art, artist, and spectator. The artist's hybrid style stems from his own itinerant biography. Born in Argentina, he was raised in Thailand, Ethiopia and Canada, and educated in Chicago and New York. Having been exposed to so many belief systems and cultures, Tiravanija now merges these experiences to create a diversity of exhibition formats that reflects a resistance to fixed sites and methodologies.
Having studied design in addition to visual art, Andrea Zittel (b.1965, Escondido, CA) uses both applied and fine arts to create modern tools for living. In the early 1990s she founded A-Z Administrative Services, which sells prototypes and designs that help individuals organize their domestic spaces. The company produces a range of items, from furniture to clothing to portable vehicles, all of which reflect her fascination with the aesthetics of early utopian notions of mass production. With these customized products, Zittel has generated a mini-revolution in the way we tend to think about systems of value, originality, authorship, and how we define the practice of making art.
Public Art Fund Talks are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.