A. Knowles / R. Tiravanija
Alison Knowles is a key figure in the history of the American postwar avant-garde. She is known both for her remarkable fusions of poetry, art, and musical practices as for a life rigorously dedicated to seeking a poetry of the everyday.
Trained by painters Adolph Gottlieb and Joseph Albers, her work took a fundamental turn upon meeting her future husband, Dick Higgins, a musician, scholar, publisher, and intermedia performer. Both were associated with the movement Fluxus.
With Higgins, Knowles appeared in countless festivals and performances, some of them involving what initially appeared to be ludicrous, tedious acts that, with the passage of time, take on increasing significance. One such performance, "The Identical Lunch," involved a ritualized meal that often included guests and friends, who would improvise recipes long before nouvelle, let alone molecular, cuisine.
Whether working with beans, shaving cream, paper, or other untraditional materials, Knowles' generosity of spirit has led her to experiment with forms often decades ahead of her peers. One such foray was her interest in computer-generated literature, already evinced in the early 1960s. She lives in New York, and continues to provide a radical take on even the simplest of gestures, some fifty years after beginning her practice.
Rirkrit Tiravanija came to the ceremonial side of artistic practice via an early interest in Fluxus, and an awareness that the social side of art was as important as its formal aspect. His work emerged at a time when the interest in artists such as Rosemarie Trockel, Dieter Roth, and Joseph Beuys had led to a re-evaluation of the power of a dried sausage, few bottles of Seltzer, or some everyday goods, once isolated in a vitrine. Beuys' social practice, and ability to catalyze a large audience surely lies in the background of some of Tirvanija's own large-scale social events. Often utilizing food as a "combustible," Tiravanija has galvanized museumgoers with his living situations set up as a artworks, with meals erected as monuments, and cardboard boxes and woks the left-over "sculptures." Life as a material has become a further development for the artist, who has founded an artist's colony in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Born in 1933 in New York, USA
Lives and works in New York, USA
Born in 1961 in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Lives and works in New York, USA and Chiang Mai, Thailand