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Art Basel #1: Performing Bodies in 14 Rooms, Satellite Fairs and Events Guide
by ArtSlant Team


Performing Bodies in Basel: 14 Rooms of Living Art

Keren Goldberg on this year's much anticipated performance component to Art Basel.

Much more interesting than the description of the 14 Rooms performance series, which will take place as part of Art Basel and is organized by star-curators Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist, is its call out for participants/performers to take part in it: “If you have an identical twin, use the opportunity to be part of Damien Hirst’s work. War veterans are sought after for part of Santiago Sierra’s performance, and anyone who speaks colloquial British-English and is similar in appearance to Ed Atkins or his avatar (shaved head), should take a look at his casting call."

It seems a parody of the highly criticized outsourcing of people and appropriation of the human body, which is part of the performance practice, especially present in political works such as those by Santiago Sierra. But with big shots names like the ones mentioned above, this use of the human resource is bound to be intriguing. Fourteen artists will each activate a room, “exploring the relationship between space, time and physicality with an artwork whose ‘material’ is the human being.”

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Art Basel on the Side

Teodora Kotseva tours the satellites and provides your fair week guide.

Satellite fairs and art shows seem to be mushrooming around their big brothers. With nearly two-dozen fairs, Miami is definitely the leader, followed by the Armory show, which this year had at least eight side fairs. The month of June though is reserved for the old continent and Art Basel, which is one of the oldest contemporary art fairs and one of the most important when it comes to the concentration of well-established art galleries. Some 4,000 artists will be featured in various sectors, providing for a neat selection of modern and contemporary artwork. Mega fairs and especially their brand image seem to affect the art market, and its participants, more and more. Today’s galleries have a tough time coping with the tight art fair calendar; this May dealers at Frieze New York who were also enrolled in Art Basel in Hong Kong did not have even a day in between the two events. Participation in a major fair proves a gallery’s importance and stance in the art world, but there’s not enough space for everyone—so in come the satellites. The reason behind this is apparent: everyone is trying to access the world's art collectors coming to town alongside the homegrown local public.

According to economic theory, for a product or service to be successful there should be a certain demand for it. And here we go: art fair organizers take advantage of the increasing number of new contemporary art galleries on the market and reply with organizing various off-site shows. The rapid increase of satellite art fairs seems to be a response to the demand for exhibition opportunities, however only the future will tell whether this need has been prompted by the growing number of newcomer art galleries on the market, the desire to exhibit during one of the important world art fairs, the mass media attention on contemporary art, or by the growth and buying potential of art devotees.

Without exception to the rule, in Basel one can enjoy a couple of satellite fairs: such as LISTE, the Young Art Fair, which after eighteen years in the game is not that young; VOLTA in its tenth edition; Scope Basel, celebrating eight years in town; the Solo Project; and newcomers such the book art fair, I Never Readorganized for its third consecutive year...

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Liu Wei, TBC, 2014, Oil on canvas,184 × 399.9 × 5.9 cm; Courtesy of the artist and Long March Space, Beijing; At Art Basel, Galleries, Booth K5

Paulina Olowska, Constructivish driedulk, 2014; (C) Bartosz Gorka 2013; Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York; At Art Basel, Galleries

Vanessa Safavi, Intérieures (6), 2014, Silicon, sand, shell, 25 × 95 × 100 cm; Courtesy of the artist and The Breeder, Athens; At LISTE

Ruben Brulat, Robbie, Odeurs d’origines, Kurodake, Japan, 2012, printed on Photorag, Ultrasmooth paper, 110 x 140 cm, Edition of 5; Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Pinxit, Toulouse; At The Solo Project

Kasper Sonne, TXC54, 2014, industrial paint and chemicals on canvas in aluminum frame, 60 x 48 inches / 152.4 x 121.9 cm; Courtesy of the artist and The Hole, New York; At VOLTA 10



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Posted by ArtSlant Team on 6/17/14

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