Art Basel 2017 48th edition returns with Design Miami Basel

This year, the public art program at Art Basel—one of its annual highlights—will be taken to new heights with a fully functioning funfair offering activities such as mini golf, a dance-off and arm-wrestling

Jun 13, 2017 | By AFP Relaxnews

Claudia Comte’s “HAHAHA,” shown at the 2014 Bex & Arts Triennale © Gunnar Meier

Art Basel is welcoming 291 galleries for its 48th edition, June 15 to 18, presenting works dating from the early 20th century to the present. The fair is part of a region-wide art week that this year includes Design Miami Basel, a global forum for collectible design that runs June 13-18, as well as a number of exhibitions in Basel’s museums.

An annual highlight, Art Basel’s Parcours program is to present 22 site-specific artworks in Basel’s Münsterplatz—where Ai Weiwei‘s monumental sculpture “Iron Tree” will be found—and further afield—such as “Footnote to a Fountain” by Sophie Nys, which will place jerry cans at several fountains throughout the city in honor of this “perpetual source of free drinkable water.”

Iron Tree, Ai Weiwei 2016© Gunnar Meier


The exclusive Club de Bâle is opening its doors for this year’s Parcours and will host Wu Tsang’s “The secret life of things is open,” a library consisting of film, sound and printed works as part of a collaboration with poet and theorist Fred Moten. At the Club, a live performance on Saturday night will include “The Green Room & The Science Lab,” in which performance artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd plays a mad scientist in a fantastical laboratory, inspired by Jerry Lewis’s Nutty Professor.

On Basel’s Pflatz viewing area, a bronze sculpture by Lena Henke will depict a surrealistic interpretation of New York‘s urban landscape.

Art Basel‘s public art component, however, is this year not limited to Parcours. Swiss artist Claudia Comte’s “NOW I WON” promises to transform the Messeplatz into an immersive installation—offering a playful commentary on the art market, which Comte has referred to as a “fun fair.”

Seven wooden stall booths will be carved by Comte with a chainsaw, while her circular abstract paintings will serve as darts targets and her wooden and marble sculptures will act as bowling pins, tunnels and mini golf features.

“NOW I WON” will be open to the public for a small fee from June 13-18, beginning each day at 1pm. A second component of the installation consists of a large-scale sculpture made of 23 tree trunks that will sit upon an artificially created hill overlooking the funfair.

For more information, do visit Art Basel.

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