Conceptual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija to perform at the Great Hall

The influential artist is making a rare Toronto appearance at an Impulse magazine book launch that will also feature authors Sheila Heti and Chris Kraus


One of the world’s most influential artists is coming to Toronto to mark the launch of a compilation of interviews from seminal art magazine Impulse.

Thailand-based Rirkrit Tiravanija, who studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design in the early 80s, is best known for turning galleries and museums into kitchens and cooking for patrons. He will cook a “Literary Thai feast” for 100 people at the Great Hall on September 5 as part of Diversionary Pleasures, the launch event for Impulse Interviews, which is published by the magazine’s micro-publishing offshoot Impulseb.

When based in Toronto, Tiravanija worked as a studio assistant for Impulse magazine founding editor and Eldon Garnet, who has spent the past three years putting together the interviews compilation. The local art magazine was designed and edited by artists and published from 1971 and 1980. The book will feature facsimile’s of the original magazine and include 67 interviews, including Blondie, William Gibson, Wim Wenders, Andy Warhol, Margarethe von Trotta, Iggy Pop, David Cronenberg and John Waters.

Tiravanija’s first and only exhibition in Canada was in 2007 as part of a residency in OCAD’s newly launched Professional Gallery. His work dissolves boundaries between galleries and visitors with installations and performances that incorporate everyday objects. In 1996, he famously created a full-functioning replica of his New York apartment in London’s Serpentine Galleries. He is currently exhibiting a site-specific bamboo maze with a Japanese tea house at its centre on the roof of the National Gallery Singapore.

Impulseb’s event will also feature appearances by Toronto author Sheila Heti, who recently published the novel Motherhood, and New York writer/editor and I Love Dick author Chris Kraus. The writers will field questions from Impulseb’s roster of artists along the lines of Impulse interviews.

“I wanted to capture the spirit of the magazine,” Garnet tells NOW, adding that the 264-page book will be “floppy and feel like a magazine in a perverse way.”

The launch will also feature a performance by Toronto artist Jubal Brown and a multi-projection installation by dAeve Fellows.

Tickets are $75 for Tiravanija’s hour-long cooking performance, which runs from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm, or $20 after 8:30 pm and are available via Eventbrite.

kevinr@nowtoronto.com | @kevinritchie

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