The Ringier annual report is irritatingly disconcerting. That is because – at least at first glance – it is virtually indistinguishable from Ringier’s Blick newspaper. That is deliberate. The Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, born in 1961, wanted a Blick that everyone would recognise. Or almost.
Anyone taking the trouble to leaf through the Ringier 2016 annual report attentively will be able to detect how it differs from the newspaper. The first volume is a selection of the Blick stories which have attracted the most attention over the last twelve months. They were selected by a team of Ringier employees. That is important, because self reflection and teamwork are central to Tiravanija’s work. The artist has printed one single letter over each of the chosen newspaper pages. When those letters are joined up, slogans appear, such as “The infinite dimensions of smallness”. Or a sentence derived from a quotation attributed to Heny Kissinger “The odious smells of truth”. The artist has already created newspaper images of this kind based on pages from the New York Times, Le Monde and El País.
The second volume contains the annual report itself. This, too, is presented in Blick’s typical tabloid style, so that Ringier’s annual results are announced in large capitals, liberally adorned with exclamation marks and colourful pictures.
And at the very end Rirkrit Tiravanija has a surprise in store for the reader. To find out what it is, you will need to fill in the order form and send it back. Hardly surprising, given that, for Tiravanija, the concept of teamwork even extends to those contemplating his works.
The art produced by Tiravanija, who was born in Argentina, grew up in Thailand and has studios in Bangkok, Berlin and New York, ranges from installations, sculptures, and performances, to drawings, posters and videos, to radio plays and books. He first became known to a wider public in the 1990s thanks to the actions he staged. These included converting galleries and museums into restaurants, shops, even ping-pong halls. Even back then he had already begun experimenting with received paradigms of art appreciation.
The Ringier annual report is multilingual, being written in German, English and French. It can be ordered or downloaded from Ringier.com.
Ringier AG, Corporate Communications