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Rirkrit Tiravanija serves Mexican food, anti-capitalist maxims in opulent Maryland museum

Guests were fed pork, poblano peppers and pumpkin soup at the Glenstone Museum

An aromatic cochinita pibil offered by Rirkrit Tiravanija at the Glenstone Museum Gabriella Angeleti

Nearly three decades ago, the artist Rirkrit Tiravanija fed the art world free bowls of curry in his landmark exhibition Pad Thai at Paula Allen Gallery. In 2012, the ongoing conceptual work—a statement on dismantling barriers between the art and the spectator—was acquired by the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland, which has reanimated the piece as part of its current exhibition Fear Eats the Soul that revisits some of the artist’s best-known pieces. During the opening on 20 September, a kālua pork that had been stewed with banana leaves overnight in an underground oven was ceremoniously unearthed by museum staff and served with tortillas; vegetarians had poblano peppers and pumpkin soup. “Food is the element that can transgress all orders and boundaries between people,” Tiravanija said. The show also features a T-shirt printing station where visitors can choose from phrases such as “Ne Travaillez Jamais”, an ode to the French Situationist Guy Debord, whose theories Tiravanija directly references in his work, and “Rich Bastards Beware”. Both maxims seem a touch ironic in the Glenstone Museum’s first major presentation since its $200m expansion, which raised questions about its accessibility and tax breaks.