RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA at the OCAD Professional Gallery and Great Hall, (100 McCaul, level 2), to September 9. 416-977-6000. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
For the inaugural exhibit at the OCAD Professional Gallery, Rirkrit Tiravanija has bricked up both entrances to the gallery. A hidden installation waits inside, to be revealed only when he returns in September to break down the walls.
What are gallery-goers supposed to do?
"I think they should go fishing," he tells me with a sly, enigmatic smile.
Tiravanija is interested in exploring the limits of social interaction and artistic gestures within spaces where art is viewed. His earlier work (for which he received the Hugo Boss Prize in 2004) included installing entire sections of his own apartment in galleries, cooking for museum-goers, reading, playing music and even living in exhibition spaces.
Each of these performances gently invites viewers to participate in the process of each exhibit.
So is he encouraging gallery-goers not to participate this time around?
"We live in an age of instant results, instant gratification," he explains. We hit the refresh button on our computer and get new information immediately. For this project, it's important that we wait until September. Come now, and then make sure you come back."
There are some radical references here. The graffiti "Ne Travaillez Jamais" (Never Work) sprayed on the bricked-up back entrance was a rallying cry of the French Situationist International, a group that helped shut down Paris during the riots of May 68.
So what will people who work at the gallery do this summer?
"They should be able to do whatever they want," he says, and his trademark smile returns. "But it is important that they still be paid for whatever it is that they do."