Starting September 2024

Rirkrit Tiravanija, mai mee chue 2004 (pad thai), 1990/2004. Installation View, Nothing: A Retrospective, Chiang Mai University Art Museum, 2004

The Gropius Bau will kick off its new programme under Jenny Schlenzka with an exhibition by Rirkrit Tiravanija in early September 2024. Tiravanija’s work expands conventional conceptions of art, creating situations in which social interactions and sensual experiences can be negotiated. The artist has been living in Germany part-time since the early 1990s and has regularly developed work that addresses the country’s politics, cultural peculiarities and relationship to global migration patterns. DAS GLÜCK IST NICHT IMMER LUSTIG (HAPPINESS IS NOT ALWAYS FUN) brings these works together for the first time, showcasing the importance of Berlin and Germany to Tiravanija as sites of artistic production. The exhibition title is borrowed from the opening titles of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film Angst essen Seele auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul), whose depiction of anti-Arab racism against the so-called “guest worker” Ali is still alarmingly relevant today, 50 years after the film’s release. The comprehensive exhibition includes works on paper, sculptures, photographs, multiples and a selection of rarely shown Super 8 films, as well as regular activations of the artist’s most important ephemeral and participatory works from the 1980s through today. The explosive power of Tiravanija’s practice is always the focus: institutional boundaries are pushed; categories are tested; people cook, eat and play; things get loud.

Curated by Jenny Schlenzka, Yasmil Raymond and Christopher Wierling

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation