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Rirkrit Tiravanija

b. 1961, Argentina

untitled 2020 (nature morte: javan tiger, panthera tigris sondaica, 1970s), 2023

CNC router cut aluminium sheet

50 x 50 x 1.5 cm

These engravings of the dodo bird and the Javan tiger are part of Rirkrit Tiravanjia’s untitled 2020 series, created and exhibited during his residency with the STPI Creative Gallery and Workshop in Singapore in 2023. The series comprises 20 aluminium plates, each engraved with an image and the year of extinction of an animal.

In line with Tiravanjia’s practice of creating participatory experiences, during the original exhibition, visitors could use these engravings to imprint the images of the extinct animals upon sheets of paper, assuming a vital role in the continued memorialisation and distribution of the artworks.

The interactions with visitors present a hopeful ideal of how continued awareness and activism will help reduce the alarming rate of species extinction happening worldwide. However, displayed on their own, these engravings become gravestones in a silent mausoleum, an ominous sign of what is to come if humanity persists without change.

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