Artist Profiles > > Carsten Höller, Tobias Rehberger, Anri Sala and Rirkrit Tiravanija
“You have to systematically create confusion, it sets creativity free. Everything that is contradictory creates life.” – Dali
Following the footsteps of the Surrealist masters, Carsten Höller, Tobias Rehberger, Anri Sala and Rirkrit Tiravanija used the game of Cadavre Exquis (Exquisite Corpse) in creating fantastic composite works with STPI. This bold process requires the artists to completely surrender their individual artistic control; an artist starts a work and the next artist—given only a sliver of what had already been created as guidance—picks up where the previous one left off. Free from calculated reasoning, each artwork is uniquely whimsical and unabashedly nonconformist – a melting pot of four individual parts guided into cohesion by the invisible hand of haphazard chance.
This body of works explores the little-understood realm of unconscious influence and is a testament to how each artist relates to each other on a subconscious level, despite the absence of dialogue, negotiation, and the considerable challenge of merging four distinct artistic styles. One can see this through the unexpected colour harmony of Rehberger’s portrait of Al Capone with Höller’s colour venn digram in (dreams that money can not buy) (2016), as well as the surprising technical harmony of flocking utilized by both Tiravanija and Höller in Transgender Question Seafood Vaporiser
(2016). In the latter work, Höller’s portion, inspired by an Italian restaurant menu, formed the unexpected finishing piece to Rehberger’s artistic creation of a dwarf which ended at its ankles.
Unique in its execution, this collaboration challenged these four artists to convey their art through print and papermaking, when they are known for their experiential art where art is not an object, but an experience. Surrealistic automatism was the means to this end, and on a larger scale, these works mirror the organic process of the creation of a society; how each member of a society is unknowingly influenced by one another.
These works were selected by Yokohama Triennale Co-director Akiko Miki to be presented at the Yokohama Museum of Art alongside Surrealist artworks from the museum’s permanent collection for the Triennale.