These Puppets (2009) are representations of artists and curators, including the artists who made them — Rirkrit Tiravenija (far left) and Philippe Pareno (third from left). The series also features Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Carsten Holler, and Jorge Pardo, artists who are strongly associated with the “relational aesthetics” movement of the late 1990s and early 2000s, which sought to encourage interaction with and among viewers.
The idea for the puppets arose when the artists were invited to a panel discussion in 2005, but could not attend. Instead, they sent puppets in their place. After learning that their playful act was positively received, the artists decided to make more puppets to use in future situations.
Though these puppets have not necessarily been put to such use, they remain an apt symbol of a movement that requires participation in order to be fully realized and understood.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.