The PHI Foundation is pleased to present JOUEZ/PLAY, a solo exhibition by artist Rirkrit Tiravanija. Rather than creating art objects for static display, Tiravanija focuses on the interactions between people and their surroundings. As a central tenet of his practice, he encourages visitors to become active participants in the artistic experience, instead of passive consumers of culture. In many of Tiravanija’s artworks, the visitor’s involvement is required in order for the work to be fully realized. In this exhibition and since 2017, he has moved into the realm of illusory speculation, experimenting with technological integrations into artistic forms of practice.
During the 1990s, Tiravanija began producing artworks that revolved around his own personal history, through the restaging of his everyday experiences. By presenting such alternative perspectives, he turns life itself into a work of art. As part of the exhibition at the PHI Foundation, two such works that exemplify his relational and playful approach are featured. untitled 1996 (rehearsal studio no. 6) (2023), consists of an actual music rehearsal studio based on the one Tiravanija used with friends for band rehearsals. Inside the installation, visitors can listen to recordings from past rehearsal sessions and are also welcome to pick up and play the instruments. The installation will also host scheduled rehearsal sessions and organized concerts with Montréal bands. untitled 2017 (skip the bruising…) (2017), consists of an immersive bar installation that was part of the set for Tiravanija’s frame-by-frame re-creation of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1974 film Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. For the duration of the exhibition at the Foundation, this “set” will provide a place for visitors to meet, dwell, and hang out, while the artist’s recreation of the film plays on a television set within the installation. This work will be further activated throughout the run of the show with a program of workshops and events, as well as an actor “playing” bartender who will serve drinks to visitors on certain days of the week. Tiravanija seamlessly operates across the genres of installation, sculpture, and social practice, which are all perfectly conducive to the reinvention of transnational, urban-based identities, and provide a place for all to play.