Originally conceived for the 27th Bienal de São Paulo, in 2006, the work Palm Pavilion (2006–2008) has been set up in the open-air for the first time at Inhotim. The pavilion is an adaptation of the famous Maison Tropicale (1951), by French architect Jean Prouvé (1901–1984), who developed a sort of prefabricated dwelling manufactured in France and shipped overseas for bureaucrats and merchants residing in the African colonies. Besides functioning as an icon of recent architectural history, the replica by Tiravanija houses various species of palm trees as well as showcases and tables with objects related to the plant, and videos. The videos document a nuclear test in the South Pacific, with a group of palm trees in the foreground, along with a series of images that take the palm tree as a cultural reference – including scientific illustrations, paper currency and stamps. With the collaboration of Inhotim’s botanical team, which added a large collection of palm trees to the work, Tiravanija complements the purely scientific view of the Botanical Garden with a sociocultural analysis on the species, an icon of tropical exoticism.


  • Title: Palm Pavilion
  • Creator Lifespan: 1961
  • Creator Nationality: Argentine
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Birth Place: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Date Created: 2006/2008
  • Type: Installation
  • Rights: Inhotim Collection, Brazil, Pedro Motta
  • Medium: Metal, wood, palm trees and various materials
  • Multimedia artist: Rirkrit Tiravanija

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