Two traditional Thai kites lean on the wall; the larger represents the “male,” the smaller the “female” kite. In Thailand, these kites are used in royal contests in which two opposing teams try to force each other’s kite to the ground. In front of the two Thai kites lies a Persian rug, its woven pattern suggesting a landscape and houses, evoking the “kite’s perspective” of the world below. On top of the carpet, the kite strings spell out “the state of things,” a phrase that disappears as soon as the kites ascend into the air. This installation touches on a recurring motif in Tiravanija’s work: namely, collective movement and travel. With its dualism of floating and groundedness, as well as the simultaneity of multiple cultures, “Untitled (THE STATE OF THINGS)” is a concrete metaphor for our postmodern lives—a state of existence, according to Nikolas Bourriaud, embodied in the “wanderer among cultures,” who is no longer “rooted” in one particular place.
A set of 2 traditional thai kites
Bamboo, paper, string and glue
Two baskets, a handle and a Turkish carpet
Dimensions kite one: 170 x 240 cm, kite two: 77 x 88 cm
Signed, numbered and stamped certificate
Edition of 5