Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Asile Flottant is a half-scale replica of the floating asylum barge that Swiss architect Le Corbusier designed in 1929 for the Salvation Army in Paris. Le Corbusier’s barge, moored on the Seine River, provided temporary overnight shelter for the Parisian underclass, who were otherwise found wandering the streets or sleeping under bridges. Tiravanija’s replica was built in Chiang Mai, one of few Thai cities that monks predict will survive an upcoming deluge. A portion of the barge will be reconstructed in the Center for Visual Communication’s main gallery.

Tarivanija’s Asile Flottant houses a growing collection of political t-shirts, some designed by the artist and others collected from activists around the world. The t-shirts, with slogans invoking social messages, suggest the ease with which the body can be transformed into a politicized space. This will be the first installation of Asile Flottant in the United States.

Rirkrit Tiravanija was born in 1961 in Buenos Aires, and is widely recognized as one of the most influential artists of his generation. His work defies media-based description, as his practice combines traditional object making, public and private performances, teaching, and other forms of public service and social action. Winner of the 2004 Hugo Boss Prize awarded by the Guggenheim Museum, his exhibition there consisted of a pirate radio (with instructions on how to make one for yourself). Tiravanija was also awarded the Benesse by the Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum in Japan and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Lucelia Artist Award. He had a retrospective exhibition at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, which traveled to in Paris and London. Tiravanija is a founding member and curator of Utopia Station, a collective project of artists, art historians, and curators. Tiravanija is also president of an educational-ecological project known as The Land Foundation, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and is part of a collective alternative space located in Bangkok, where he maintains his primary residence and studio.