A Lincoln Park art exhibition space is transforming its second-floor gallery into a communal dining room this summer — and you’re invited to experience it over a bowl of Thai curry.
(who is afraid of red, yellow and green), a culinary art installation by Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija that is currently on display at Wrightwood 659, features a daily lunch service of three curries alongside large-scale artwork. From noon, visitors are encouraged to grab a bowl of curry (while supplies last), watch local artists draw huge murals of protest images on the walls and, perhaps most important, to discuss with their colleagues what they observe.
“[Attendees] are invited to open up to really open up to conversations and interactions in the space,” says Betsy Johnson, assistant curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC (who lends the exhibit to Wrightwood 659 from her permanent collection ). “I find it to be a work that provokes interesting conversations that we wouldn’t normally have with a stranger.”
Visitors will find food for discussion here. In the Chicago installation, designs include local scenes of protests – including Black Panther marches, Black Lives Matter rallies and recent protests over the war in Ukraine – as well as images of anti-government protests from 2009 -2010 in Thailand, offering meaningful commentary on the cross-generational and international links between acts of civil disobedience. And since new images are added daily as the installation progresses, artists are free to incorporate current events as they unfold.
Too shy to jump straight into political conversations? Fortunately, food offers an easy entry point. Prepared by Uptown Bliss Resto, the three curries (available in red, yellow, and green varieties, with a full list of ingredients posted on the wall near the facility’s entrance) are conversation-worthy in their own right. Take a seat, watch the artists work for a while, and get ready to share your impressions over a meal.
(who is afraid of red, yellow and green) will remain on view at Wrightwood 659 (659 W Wrightwood Ave) through July 16; Hours are Friday 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $15 and includes access to the gallery’s two additional spring/summer exhibitions. If you’re looking for a deeper perspective on Tiravanija’s work, the artist will be in Chicago on June 4 for two artist talks. You can find additional details on Wrightwood 659. website.