Art Basel is to present a new installation by Rirkrit Tiravanija, Nikolaus Hirsch, Michel Müller and Antto Melasniemi in Basel this June For the duration of Art Basel, ‘DO WE DREAM UNDER THE SAME SKY’ by conceptual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, German architects Nikolaus Hirsch/Michel Müller and Finnish chef Antto Melasniemi will be installed on Messeplatz in Basel.
The new work will be an extension of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s and Thai artist Kamin Lertchaiprasert’s project ‘the land’, a self-sustaining artistic community near Chiang Mai in Thailand that engages with the idea of an artistic utopia, presenting an ecological and sustainable model for future artistic practice. Including a herbal garden, kitchen, communal dining and meeting area, the project will involve collaborations with engineers Bollinger + Grohmann and students from the Institute of Art of the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel and the Städelschule in Frankfurt to activate the work during the fair.
‘DO WE DREAM UNDER THE SAME SKY’ can be seen and experienced as a visually striking large-scale work at the entrance to the fair and as a platform for communication. The installation invites the audience to enter a sphere of recovery and community amidst the excitement of the art fair.
Creating a place of hospitality, visitors can engage through the activities on offer, such as the drinking of herbal tea plucked fresh from the on-site garden, the preparation and eating of food. The food will be rooted in Thai tradition and will be available with no fixed schedule, menu or price list: compensation is self-determined, by self-serving, serving others, donations or even participating in the cooking or washing up. The activities and events will be run in close collaboration with students from Basel and Frankfurt, who will be working alongside Tiravanija and Melasniemi running the kitchen, preparing food and organizing additional events. Both schools, Städelschule in Frankfurt and the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel, have a cooking tradition with students being experienced in running experimental kitchens and testing new concepts of hospitality.
The installation will consist of a modular bamboo and steel structure designed by Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller within which the various themes of the project will be played out. Developed and executed in collaboration with Finnish chef Antto Melasniemi, the program will explore an ecological cycle beginning with the growing of herbs and continuing on to their use in the production of tea and culinary creations. Based on the idea of self-sufficiency, ‘DO WE DREAM UNDER THE SAME SKY’ will employ various alternative energy models including a solar kitchen.
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The installation will function as a platform to further develop the artists’ ongoing ‘the land’ project in form of a series of mini-symposia hosted by Hans Ulrich Obrist on themes and issues relating to the project. At the end of the show, following its concept of transfer, the installation’s structure will be shipped to ‘the land’ in Chiang Mai where it will form the basis for a new workshop building that will host a range of artistic projects including artistic residencies, workshops, and seminars. ‘DO WE DREAM UNDER THE SAME SKY’ is commissioned by Art Basel.