Art Basel 2016 Parcours: Highlights Around Town
Running alongside the famous art fair, a host of public exhibitions will be on display around the city
As one of the biggest and most famous art fairs in the world, Art Basel (running till June 19) has a massive international reach. With such an incredible draw for the normally sleepy Swiss region, it is also a great excuse for the whole town to be permeated through and through with art. Livening up the atmosphere are a host of 19 site-specific sculptures, interventions, installations, and performances curated by Samuel Leuenberger, an independent curator and Basel native. All these works fall under the sector of ‘Parcours’ – which was recently launched and will culminate in the Parcours Night on June 18 with a host of special performances and screenings.
Here are some of the highlights:
Münsterplatz – Sam Durant’s ‘Labyrinth’ (2015)
This massive chain-link maze was developed during American artist Sam Durant’s collaboration with prisoners at Grateford State Prison. The piece works as a commentary on the nature of imprisonment and freedom, reflecting the internal emotions of those put through the rigours of incarceration.
Münsterplatz – Alfredo Jaar’s ‘The Gift’ (2016)
‘The Gift’ is a work that directly engages with the public in order to bring to light the issue of mass migration in Europe. Volunteers will hand out boxes made of cardboard depicting a Turkish beach where the corpse of a toddler fleeing Syria washed ashore. The boxes can be inverted into donation boxes.
Wettsteinbrücke – Ivan Navarro’s ‘Traffic’ (2015)
This mobile is composed of seven traffic lights which loop continuously from soft green to yellow to red and is located in a sewage tunnel at Wettsteinbrücke. The installation removes the commonly seen symbol of the traffic light from daily life and places it in a new context to create an interesting juxtaposition.
Bau-und Verkehrsdepartement Basel-Stadt – Andrew Dadson’s ‘Black Plant Sunset’ (2016)
As a commentary on the power of nature, artist Andrew Dadson has created an installation of a room filled with plants painted black. These plants are illuminated under ultraviolet lighting and, as they grow over the course of the exhibition, their natural green will peek through the paint, providing a firm contrast.
Naturhistorisches Museum Basel – Trisha Baga ‘MS Orlando’ (2015)
Named after the famous novel by Virginia Woolf, Trisha Baga’s ‘MS Orlando’ is a three-paneled video that presents itself as a contemporary relic halfway between comic and poetic. It mixes a series of cultural references and various shots as a stream-of-consciousness style flow of images.
Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig – Jim Dine’s ‘Muscle and Salt’ (2016)
This installation was first presented at the Getty Museum in 2008. It mixes classically inspired sculptures of Hellenistic dancers with a large self-portrait. Handwritten poems are plastered all around the surrounding walls. This creates a highly expressionistic and intimate work.
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