Travelling Exhibition

GREEN GO HOME is a collaborative project by Tomas Vu and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

The story of “Green Go Home” is part myth and part folklore. It is also partially a misunderstanding, and, to some degree, an invention of the imagination.

The term gringo—commonly used in Latin America to describe a Western foreigner—has been assumed by many to have etymologically originated with the phrase “Green go home!” One story holds that during the Mexican-American War, American troops invaded and overwhelmed their opposition. At this time, according to legend, the American uniform frequently included green coats. Hence “Green go home!” In Brazil, gringo is also thought to have been derived from the English words green and go, but with a different basis. Rather than originating from military interaction, this term came about from foreigners’ exploitation of nature.

The provocation inherent in “Green Go Home,” is positioned against the subtle underlying subtext of U.S. interventions, and colonialist attitudes, towards its neighbors in Latin American from Mexico southwards: an antagonism that has cost many lives and much strife.

2019 - The Drawing Room (Manila, Phillippines)

2018 - Chaos (Tokyo, Japan)

2018 - Untitled Miami (Florida, USA)

2017 - Vargas Museum (Manila, Philippines)

2016 - Youngworld (Detroit, USA)

2015 - NF Galería (Madrid, Spain)
2014 - ArtBo Fair (Bogotá, Colombia)

2013 - Gavin Brown Enterprise (New York, USA)

In each installation, the meaning of the piece mutates. The characters and language are specific to the country in which the work is being shown, but more importantly, the people involved shape the piece. They help to print and install the works, as well as create meaning for the piece through their experiences and reflections.

The imagery itself consists of portraits derived from Google searches with text supplied by Rirkrit on top. The presence of each character—from films to music to personalities of resistance—reveals itself to the viewer as addressing the condition of the graffiti text. The figures included vary from country to country, though some figures reappear, as they are, to me, at the crux of this discussion – Ted Kazynski, Alan Turing, Barbarella, Ana Mendieta. The grid holds up the statement and reinforces the layers of interpretation, readings, and misunderstandings. “Green Go Home” is meant to be a wall of resisters, and of resistance.