A Lincoln Park art exhibition space is transforming its second floor gallery into a communal dining area this summer—and you’re invited to check it out over a bowl of Thai curry.
(who’s afraid of red, yellow, and green), a culinary art installation by Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija that’s currently on view at Wrightwood 659, features a daily lunch service of three curries alongside large-scale artworks. From noon onward, visitors are encouraged to grab a bowl of curry (while supplies last), watch local artists draw massive murals depicting images of protest on the walls and—perhaps most importantly—chat with their fellow diners about what they’re observing.
“[Attendees] are invited to open themselves up to really kind of open themselves up to conversations and interactions in the space,” says Betsy Johnson, an assistant curator at the The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. (which is loaning the exhibition to Wrightwood 659 from its permanent collection). “I find that this is a work that provokes some interesting conversations that we wouldn’t normally have with a stranger.”
Visitors will find there’s plenty of fodder for discussion. In the Chicago installation, designs include local scenes of protests—including Black Panther marches, Black Lives Matter rallies and recent demonstrations about the war in Ukraine—alongside images of 2009-2010 anti-government protests in Thailand, offering meaningful commentary about the cross-generational and international connections between acts of civil disobedience. And since new images are added each day as the installation progresses, artists are free to incorporate current events as they unfold.
Too shy to jump straight into political conversations? Luckily, the food offers an easy entry point. Catered by Uptown restaurant Bliss Resto, the three curries (available in red, yellow and green varieties, with a full list of ingredients posted on the wall near the installation’s entrance) are conversation-worthy in and of themselves. Take a seat, watch the artists work for a while and get ready share your thoughts over a meal.
(who’s afraid of red, yellow, and green) will remain on view at Wrightwood 659 (659 W Wrightwood Ave) though July 16; hours are Friday noon–7pm and Saturday 10am–5pm. Admission is $15 and includes access to the gallery’s two additional spring/summer exhibitions. If you're looking for a more in-depth 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’s website.