Chew the Fat
by Rirkrit Tiravanija, Germany 2008, 62'
PHOTOGRAPHY: Rirkrit Tiravanija,
Cristian Manzutto
Zeynep Yuecel
SOUND: Cristian Manzutto, Rirkrit Tiravanija   PRODUCTION: TALK TALK Documentaries e Neugerriemschneider, con il sostegno di Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
SOUND EDITING AND MIX: Cristian Manzutto    
EDITING: Daniela Birk    

Schermo dell'Arte - Archivio Film Presented at The Screen of the Arts 2009

Chew the Fat
is a complex work that makes uses of and remixes the typical ingredients of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s work. It is both an artwork, in the form of a video installation, and a film, which exists in different editing versions and lengths.
The title of the work itself, an informal expression which is used to indicate an amicable chat, is a implicit statement on the part of the artist, evoking as it does gastronomic fantasies and the ‘recipe’ itself of the artist’s gigantic oeuvre. Tiravanija is a seasoned traveller, an acute observer and a skilled communicator. In Chew the Fat he fulfils the roles of film maker, interviewer, guest and host, in order to regale us with the imaginative group portrait of a whole generation of artists. He himself is one of the protagonists of the generation of artists who emerged in the 1990s.
In the film Tiravanjia meets internationally famous artists, such as Angela Bulloch, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Douglas Gordon, Carsten Höller, Pierre Huyghe, Jorge Pardo, Philippe Parreno, Elizabeth Peyton, Tobias Reheberger and Andrea Zittel. Chatting with them, showing us their faces, their body language, the way they dress as well as the people and the things that surround them, while at the same time paying particular attention to what they eat and drink, Tiravanija allows us a closer, intimate look and brings us in the daily sphere of each one of these artists. The approach is repeated with every encounter, while in the case of Maurizio Cattelan it is only suggested through his absence from the screen. Tiravanjia pays special attention to the rituals that mark the life and work of each one of these artists. Chew the Fat is and exotic and cosmopolitan mix of images and words held together by the professional and amicable relationships that bind the artists and the film maker. The strength of the film lies in revealing intimate settings and relationships, in the direct and visually beautiful way that the author use to describe an art world which happens to be his own, and in his inviting us to share in the conversations while partaking of a contemporary dinner party.

Rirkrit Tiravanija
Rirkrit Tiravanija (Buenos Aires, 1961), lives and works in New York, Berlin and Chiang Mai. He studied in Bangkok where he went to High School, and later in Canada, in Toronto and Banff. He also studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and took part in the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Tiravanjia is known for creating occasions of cultural exchanges through convivial experiences. He shows internationally and in the most prestigious venues: at MoMA in New York (1997); at the Center for Contemporary Art in Kitakyushu (2000), at Vienna Secession (2002), at Chiang Mai University Art Museum, in Chiang Mai, Thailand (2004); at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2005); at the Ontario College of Art and Design, in Ontario, Canada (2007), at the Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga, Spagna (2009), and most recently at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, in St.Louis, USA (2009). He won several international prizes, among which the 2004 Hugo Boss Prize, given by the Guggenheim Museum of New York. In 2003 he co-curated Utopia Station for the 50th Venice Biennale and in 2009 designed the Venice Biennale bookshop. In 2004 Tiravanjia showed his work Qualsiasi (tv) at Base/Progetti per l’arte in Florence. He was one of the founder of The Land project in Thailand in 1998 and is Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Faculty of the Arts, at Columbia University of New York.

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