Untitled (Jeans), 2016
Two plates and a text placed on the wall
In his work, Pratchaya Phinthong primarily focuses on cultural, economic, and sociopolitical value systems.
Untitled (Jeans) adresses the current refugee situation in Cologne. For its 40th Birthday, the Ludwig Museum invited different artists to question the meaning of the museal insti- tution. Pratchaya Phinthong prompted an exchange between employees of the Museum Ludwig and asylum seekers from Guinea, Afganistan, Morocco and Kosovo. He distributed counterfeit Levi’s Jeans from the weekend market in Bangkok in the sizes of the museum staff to the refugees, who wore them until shortly before the start of the exhibition. During the exhibition, the museum staff will use the worn pants, which afterwards will be returned to the refugees.
The artist asks to what extent the sharing and use of a piece of clothing determines and changes its value. Jeans serve here as a symbol not only of the global market for goods, but also of processes of adjustment to unfamiliar social structures and systems.
Aside from a text by Pratchaya Phinthong, the exhibition includes only two plates that the artist was given at a meal with asylum seekers at their home. The objects serve as placeholders for events that took place in the course of the clothing exchange and point to possible developments in the future.