Art Basel Parcours 2017: 22 Spots Curated by Samuel Leuenberger – Curated for the second year by Samuel Leuenberger, Director and Curator of SALTS in Birsfelden, Switzerland, Parcours returns with 22 site-specific artworks sited around Basel’s historical Münsterplatz. Parcours will feature artworks by both internationally renowned and emerging artists including Ai Weiwei, Katinka Bock, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Miriam Cahn, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, Latifa Echakhch, GCC, Amanda Ross-Ho, Cally Spooner, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Wu Tsang. Art Basel, whose Lead Partner is UBS, takes place at Messe Basel from June 15 to June 18, 2017.
Engaging with Basel’s past and present by weaving artistic interventions into the fabric of the city, this year’s edition of Parcours portrays a series of intimate experiences, with artists addressing the truths that concern their daily experiences. The eighth edition of Parcours is again sited in the heart of Basel’s historical city center, the Münsterhügel, where 21 artists engage with an abundance of historically rich scenic sites. Visitors will enter public as well as private spaces, discovering local institutions, city departments, and churches built in various centuries. These places – through their own histories and interactions with the public – will contextualize and amplify each artist’s personal thoughts. Taking place on Saturday, June 17, Parcours Night will once again feature a specially curated program of live performances, access to all Parcours sites and extended opening hours at some of Basel’s leading museums.
Installed on Münsterplatz, Ai Weiwei’s (b. 1957) monumental sculpture ‘Iron Tree’ (2016) will create a contemplative environment for viewers to reflect on their relationship to nature, culture, history and the self. ‘Site of the Fall: Study of the Renaissance Garden’ (2016-17) by Iranian artist Reza Aramesh (b. 1970) will consist of three hand-carved and polished Carrera marble sculptures presented in different contexts: beside the masterpieces of the Antiquities Museum, upon the banks of the Rhine river and before the threshold of Basel’s civil courthouse. By formally alluding to Renaissance ideals, Aramesh presents the beautiful as the damned: victims excluded from paradise, and questions the traditional representation of suffering throughout the Western art-historical canon. In the Basler Münstersaal, Latifa Echakhch’s (b. 1974) work ‘Screen Shot’ (2015) is comprised of several three-panel screens of the artist’s height and arranged like a labyrinth, draped with clothes immersed in black India ink; each item leaving drippings on the panels and floor, reminiscent of wet clothing that has been lost on the run.
As it is often the case with Katinka Bock’s (b. 1976) work in the public arena, ‘Parasite Fountain‘ (2017) has both a poetic and a direct relationship to its environment. More of a leak in the system than a fountain, the sculpture has a rather parasitical existence: it takes water from a neighboring fountain and does not return it to its original circuit. Since the end of the 19th century when indoor plumbing began providing water to Basel’s residents, the purpose of the city’s numerous public fountains has been for the most part, decorative. To emphasize their original purpose, ‘Footnote to a Fountain’ (2017) by Sophie Nys (b.1974) places jerry cans at several fountains throughout the city, commemorating these urban springs as social hubs and paying tribute to the perpetual source of free drinkable water, accessible to all.
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A second work by Sophie Nys will be on show in the auditorium of Naturhistorisches Museum. ‘102 craters on Venus’ (2017) is an artist publication that examines the historic exclusion of the achievements of female scientists by preeminent institutions of higher learning. Also on view at Naturhistorisches Museum will be ‘Belief in the Power of Believe’ (2017), a new work by artist collective GCC (established 2013). GCC’s 3D MDF reliefs reference antiquity in their compositions combining them with imagery from YouTube videos, thus creating new contemporary cultural artifacts.
In Basel’s Town Hall, ‘Concerned by the ghost without being bothered’ (2017) is a new work by Flaka Haliti (b. 1982). Advertisement banners in varying shapes and sizes, illustrated with a blue line drawing, allude to an assembled mass, a procession or a demonstration. Presented on the terrace of the Alte Universität, Rirkrit Tiravanija’s (b. 1961) installation of illuminated neon verse ‘untitled 2007 (stories are propaganda…)’ (2007) is at once critical and self-reflective. At the Bartels Foundation visitors will encounter ‘And As The Medieval Cloisters Connect Seamlessly With The Corridors of Power… I’m quietly confident… (U-turn!)’ (2013), a sound installation by Cally Spooner (b. 1983), addressing language and political leadership, specifically within British politics.
Wu Tsang’s (b. 1982) ‘The secret life of things is open’ (2014/2017) is set in the library and smoking room of the exclusive Club de Bâle, which is exceptionally opening its doors for this year’s Parcours. Within the artist constructs a library of sorts, composed of fragments of an ongoing collaboration with poet and theorist Fred Moten that includes films, sound works and printed matter. The library will become a portal to secret performative events happening throughout the week, culminating in a live performance as part of Parcours Night on Saturday. In ‘The Green Room & The Science Lab’ (2017) performance artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (b. 1973) incarnates a mad scientist at the center of a highly theatrical, fantastical laboratory. Filled with dry ice and illuminated by theatre lights, the papier-mâché laboratory draws inspiration from Jerry Lewis’ iconic Nutty Professor, as Chetwynd metamorphoses between a gawky scientist and an unapologetic diva. Nathalie Djurberg (b. 1978) and Hans Berg (b. 1978) will show ‘Who am I to Judge, or, It Must be Something Delicious’ (2017) in the Gymnasium am Münsterplatz. Mixing animation, sculpture and sound, this work presents psychologically charged scenarios exploring human nature’s capricious and erotic inclinations.
Miriam Cahn’s (b. 1949) ‘SCHLACHTFELD/ALTERSWERK’ (2012), on show at Museum der Kulturen, is a sculptural installation composed of carved tree trunks scattered on the ground, accompanied by five slides showing Cahn recomposing plasticine body parts. Berlinde de Bruyckere’s (b. 1964) ‘My Deer’ (2011-2013), at once beautiful and haunting, draws from the legacies of the European Old Masters and Christian iconography. The deer, cast in iron, is gently laid across a table. The animal’s delicate limbs and lithe body convey both fragility and strength; as though set upon an altar it is imbued with a ritualistic, almost devotional quality, exemplifying the artist’s to deal with the dualities of the human condition. Gianni Colombo’s (1937-1993) environments break down the borders of contemplation and static observation, plunging the viewer into a transformed space. From 1964 to 1992, his environments introduced perceptive functions involving the kinetics of the body and states of balance. ‘Spazio curvo’ (1992), which will be installed on Martinsgasse, alters the viewers perception of architectural space with curved shapes suspended in the void.
For ‘Untitled Findings (ACCESS)’ (2017), Amanda Ross-Ho (b.1975) places enlarged replicas of keys that open doors to a range of cultural institutions and private spaces in Basel. Visitors will discover the keys one-by-one, as if they had been dropped by their careless owners. A large-scale sculptural replica of the artist’s own carabiner keychain completes the work. Christodoulos Panayiotou’s (b. 1978) new work ‘Untitled’ (2017), on the other hand, is not tied to a specific location. For the duration of Art Basel, Panayiotou will bestow jewels and necklaces to people, with the instruction to wear them throughout the course of the show. The group of people wearing the jewelry will only assemble once for a gathering at Museumsbistro Rollerhof on Wednesday, June 14.
Lena Henke’s (b. 1982) work ‘City Lights (Dead Horse Bay)’ (2016) consists of two elements. A bronze sculpture depicting a surrealistic interpretation of New York’s urban landscape will be shown on the Pfalz while sculptures made from sand and rubber will populate the wilderness of the Garden of Lesegesellschaft along the Rhine River. Markus Selg’s (b. 1974) ‘Arcadia’ (2017) will be presented in Martinsgasse. ‘Arcadia’ is a largescale, digitally-produced tapestry referring to social and cultural concepts of the garden, offering the viewer a gateway into a world where nature and technology; reality and simulation are equitably fused.
Over the past decade,(2017) is a wall sculpture made with bronze casts of banana bunches, emphasizing the modular quality of fruit volumes. Pedro Cabrita Reis’ (b. 1956) new work ‘The Basel Line’ (2017) creates an unexpected line of light in dialogue with neighboring trees leaning against the corner of the Münster architecture.
Parcours takes place from Monday, June 12 to Sunday, June 18, culminating in Parcours Night on Saturday, June 17 with live performances by Itziar Okariz (b. 1965), Than Hussein Clark (b. 1981), Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (b. 1973), Shana Moulton (b. 1976), Moved by the Motion (Wu Tsang, boychild, Patrick Belaga, Bendik Giske and Josh Johnson), Eric Hattan (b. 1955), Julian Sartorius (b. 1981) and Hans Berg (b. 1978).
Supported by MGM Resorts Art and Culture, ‘Yes, Yes, All the News that’s Fit To Print’ (2017) by Than Hussein Clark (b. 1981) will transform Otto Rudolf Salvisberg’s ‘Erste Kirche Christi’ – a little-known but remarkable Modernist church from 1936 – into the artist’s own version of a Broadway theatre. Besides the Saturday night screening, the performance will also be shown on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Additionally, the Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig, Museum der Kulturen, Naturhistorisches Museum and Kunstmuseum Basel will have extended opening hours and free public access during Parcours Night.
On Sunday, June 18, from 4pm to 5pm Jane Morris, Editor-at-Large, The Art Newspaper and Contributor, The Economist, will moderate a panel discussion as part of the Conversations program. Focused on Parcours and titled ‘The Stage as Safe Space’, the panel will feature Parcours curator Samuel Leuenberger and the artists Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and Than Hussein Clark.
The full list of Parcours projects:
Ai Weiwei, neugerriemschneider ‘Iron Tree’, 2016 Münsterplatz
Reza Aramesh, Leila Heller Gallery ‘Site of the Fall: Study of the Renaissance Garden’, 2016-17 Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, St. Alban-Graben 5; Zivilgericht BaselStadt, Bäumleingasse 3; Wettsteinbrücke, along Rhine Promenade
Katinka Bock, Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Meyer Riegger ‘Parasite Fountain’, 2017 Eurofima, Ritterhof Garden, St. Alban-Graben 11 / Rittergasse 20 Pedro Cabrita Reis, Sprovieri, Kewenig, Magazzino, Mai 36 Galerie, Peter Freeman, Inc. ‘The Basel Line’, 2017 Corner Rittergasse/Münsterplatz
Miriam Cahn, Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Meyer Riegger ‘SCHLACHTFELD/ALTERSWERK’, 2012 Museum der Kulturen Basel, Hedi Keller Saal, Münsterplatz 20
Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Sadie Coles HQ, Massimo De Carlo ‘The Green Room & The Science Lab’, 2017 Elfdausigjumpferestube, Rheinsprung 12
Gianni Colombo, A arte Invernizzi ‘Spazio curvo’, 1992 Corner of Martinsgasse/Stapfelberg
Berlinde De Bruyckere, Hauser & Wirth ‘My Deer’, 2011-2013 Zum Fälklein, Hofmauer, Stapfelberg 2 (Naturhistorisches Museum Basel)
Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Gió Marconi, Lisson Gallery ‘Who am I to Judge, or, It Must be Something Delicious’, 2017 Gymnasium am Münsterplatz, Münsterplatz 13
Latifa Echakhch, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, kamel mennour, kaufmann repetto ‘Screen Shot’, 2015 Bischofshof, Münstersaal, Rittergasse 1
GCC (Nanu Al-Hamad, Khalid Al Gharaballi, Abdullah Al-Mutairi, Fatima Al Qadiri, Monira Al Qadiri, Aziz Al Qatami, Barrak Alzaid, Amal Khalaf), Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Mitchell-Innes & Nash ‘Belief in the Power of Believe’, 2017 Naturhistoriches Museum Basel, Augustinergasse 2
Flaka Haliti, Deborah Schamoni ‘Concerned by the ghost without being bothered’, 2017 Basel Town Hall, Courtyard
Lena Henke, Galerie Emanuel Layr, Real Fine Arts, Bortolami ‘City Lights (Dead Horse Bay)’, 2016 Pfalz and in the Garden of Lesegesellschaft along the Rhine River
Sophie Nys, Galerie Greta Meert ‘Footnote to a fountain’, 2017 Various fountains throughout the Parcours area
Sophie Nys, Galerie Greta Meert ‘102 craters on Venus’, 2017 Naturhistorisches Museum Basel, Aula, Augustinergasse 2
Christodoulos Panayiotou, Rodeo ‘Untitled’, 2017 Throughout the city of Basel and one time only at Museumsbistro Rollerhof on Münsterplatz
Amanda Ross-Ho, Mitchell-Innes & Nash ‘Untitled Findings (ACCESS)’, 2017 Various locations throughout the Parcours area
Markus Selg, Galerie Guido W. Baudach ‘Arcadia’, 2017 Martingasse 7
Cally Spooner, ZERO…, gb agency ‘And As The Medieval Cloisters Connect Seamlessly With The Corridors of Power… I’m quietly confident… (U-turn!)’, 2013 Stiftung Bartels Fondation, Zum Kleinen Markgräflerhof, Augustinergasse 17
Rirkrit Tiravanija, Neugerriemschneider ‘untitled 2007 (stories are propaganda so pay a penny for the royalties and sing a prologue to history if the mass is against the classes the girls will be god the only free choice is refusal to pay choking on the billboards philosophy in the boudoir the days of this society is numbered) ’, 2007 Terrace of Alte Universität, Rheinsprung 9
Erika Verzutti, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Andrew Kreps Gallery, Alison Jacques Gallery ‘Centipede’, 2017 Sportplatz, Rittergasse 5
Wu Tsang, Antenna Space, Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi ‘The secret life of things is open’, 2014, 2015, 2017 Club de Bâle, Rheinsprung 5
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