SPECIAL EDITION: Art Basel #2
Aurélien Froment, 9 intervals, 2011 – 2012, HD video still; Courtesy of the artist and Motive Gallery. Art Statements, Hall 1.0, Booth S08.
From the Flea Market to the Art Fair: Selection and Curation at Art Basel
by Elvia Wilk
In 2011, Art Basel’s selection committee rejected three prominent Berlin galleries from the fair: Eigen+ Art, Giti Nourbakhsch and Mehdi Chouakri. This triggered claims that their rejection was the fault of an extremely Berlin-heavy selection committee...
Regardless of what actually went on last year, it is safe to conjecture that art fair selection is a complex process with many nuances. And this selectivity pervades every inch of the fair’s setup and programming – far beyond the question of who gets in are the questions of how the artists and galleries are categorized and presented.
Rodrigo Torres, Uns trocados (Some change), 2009; Courtesy of the artist and A Gentil Carioca. Art Feature Hall 2.1, Booth R2.
Like many art fairs, Art Basel filters its jam-packed program into various categories to help visitors navigate the experience. Besides the obvious Art Galleries section, exhibitions are organized into Art Feature, Art Statements, Art Unlimited, Art Parcours, Art Film, Art Edition, and Art Magazines. Magazines, editions and films are relatively self-explanatory designations, and it makes sense to house them in specified areas. Parcours, also, is a series of site-specific projects that take place in various historic quarters of the city. But what defines the Feature, Statements, and Unlimited sections, which could seemingly be lumped into the broader Art Galleries category? Why separate them as such?
Read more about Art Basel selection here...
See you in Basel!
--the ArtSlant Team
FAIR WATCH - Erik Frydenborg
Erik Frydenborg, Service Manikin, 2011, Ash plywood, pine, mixed media, 56x68x48 inches; Image courtesy of Cherry and Martin. Art Statements, Hall 1.0, Booth S23.
Erik Frydenborg, being presented by Cherry and Martin at Art Statements, Art Basel, is something of a systems analyst, inventor, archeologist, crytographer, the list goes on and on. For more clues, read Andrew Berardini's review of Frydenborg's late-2011 show at Cherry and Martin, Dr. (illegible):
...A proto-DARPA experimental device developed by top engineers under the influence of LSD to channel orgones into potent ”love bombs” which when deployed on the populace of an enemy state caused all those exposed to strip and engage in mass orgies... (more)
FAIR WATCH - Alec Soth
Alec Soth, 2006_08zL0045 (light bulb in woods), 2006, Archival pigment print, 81,3 x 101,6 cm; Image courtesy of Loock Galerie. On view at Volta 8.
Alec Soth, being presented by Loock Galerie at Volta 8, is a photographer born and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His photographs have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney and São Paulo Biennials. In 2008, a large survey exhibition of Soth’s work was exhibited at Jeu de Paume in Paris and Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland. In 2010, the Walker Art produced a large survey exhibition of Soth’s work entitled From Here To There (see Alec Soth website).
Hannah Daly had this to say about Soth's 2012 show, Broken Manual, at Sean Kelly in New York:
...[Soth's] series is the result of his travels across America in search of recluses: in the face of the decline of American empire, Soth seeks and documents those who have pulled out of society, looking for refuge or respite, hiding or just going away... (more)
FAIR WATCH - Franklin Evans
Franklin Evans, eyesontheedge (installation view), 2012, Mixed media. Image courtesy of Sue Scott Gallery. On view at Volta 8.
Franklin Evans's work, which is presented by Sue Scott Gallery at Volta 8, has been exhibited in New York at MoMA PS1 (Greater New York 2010), El Museo del Barrio, The Drawing Center, Apexart, and in galleries in the U.S. and Europe. He co-curated Lush Life in 2010 with Omar Lopez-Chahoud at nine LES galleries and recently collaborated with Trajal Harrell on the visuals for Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church (S), a performance at New York’s New Museum and The Kitchen, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA.
HT:It seems like we’re at a place where there’s a return to the studio, and a return to materiality... But the return to the studio is more about the studio as site. How do you feel like your practice fits into this context?
FE: My work is not a critique of post-studio practice. My use of the studio tangentially considers a post-studio critique of studio as site rather than just a place for production and the pre-critique position of studio as place for production... (more)
TALK OF THE TOWN
The Romanian Invasion
by Olga Stefan
Navid Nuur, From the series of The Eyecodecs of the Monochrome, 2012; Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Plan B.
“I know that Basel in June is the most exciting place to be if you are from the art scene. I am sure that everybody will be here, collectors, curators, artists and I am looking forward to starting the 'celebration' on Monday,” says gallerist Andreiana Mihail from her headquarters in Romania. As the Art Basel frenzy begins, we decided to focus our attention on the Romanian galleries participating in the main and satellite fairs. This year is somewhat special because there is a total of four galleries – not a negligible amount – representing Romania, a country bogged down by serious economic and social difficulties. But even as the 10th on Credit Suisse’s list of the 50 most risky countries in the world for investments, Romania is able to export its artists and galleries, if not invest in its art scene internally. Of course it helps that the Romanian galleries' participation in the fairs is supported by government funds as non-profits, but this confusion in policy seems to be working to their and their artists’ benefit.
And on this backdrop we have Plan B at Art Feature for the first time, a huge coup. Until now a staple at LISTE, this year Plan B is moving into the big league with a solo exhibition of Navid Nuur displayed alongside the heavy-hitters of the art world. And taking their place at LISTE is Sabot Gallery, Plan B’s next door neighbour from the Paint Factory building in Cluj. This is their first participation in the brouhaha that is Basel...
Click here for more on the Romanian offerings at Art Basel, Liste and Volta...