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Basel-side Chat

Chats make a life.  When I think of all the chats I have had, from short to long, profound to silly, and all the people and places with whom and with which these chats have happened, I realize my infinity.

Being that I am in Basel, Switzerland, at the Art Basel fair, I thought it would be nice to call this my Basel-side Chat.  I guess it is the weather, cool and occasional rain,  that prompted the desire for coziness.

Or perhaps it was the need to counteract all the looking with a few words.  My eyes feel overloaded.  So here it goes--

First impressions:  Art Basel is fancier than Frieze is better than the Armory is more organized than Fiac is bigger than  Basel Miami (but not really with all the fairs rolled into one) and is definitely not for the young collector.

Languages based on evesdropping: Swiss, French, Italian, German, English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Eastern-Euro.  In that order.

Sounds other than words:  Laughter, kissing, cell phones, jewelry jingling, smoking, murmurs, yelps, whispers, exclamations!

Things I said: Excuse me, coffee please, may I?, is this seat empty?, pardon me, coffee please, how are you, sandwich please, nice to meet you, hello, thank you, I love that, salad please, coffee please, water please, excuse me... 

Second - a story.

The thunder cracked through the evening skies as a torrential downpour sent all the Art Basel art goers running for cover.  But the wet did not dampen spirits, nor did it do much to alter Paul McCarthy’s giant Santa with Butt Plug looming over the platz in front of the fair halls.  If anything, Santa and his plug seemed to shine just a bit more in the rain.


Down at the other end of the plaza, Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror V tracked the black clouds as they let loose with the deluge.  The Kapoor sculpture reflected a down-the-rabbit-hole image of the world turned wondrously inside out. 


Alice meet Santa.


Third - some headlines from The Art Newspaper, the fair's daily edition:

Murakami to launch Basel fair next year (Geisai fair featuring new artists)

New Art Basel director announced today (best kept secret)

Terence Koh shows the Swiss how to party (black plastic, strobes and Hermes perfume)

$200M collection of British contemporary art for Texas (Kenny Goss & George Michael)

European buyers reclaim market from Americans (green backs stay home)

No Wrong Gallery for Freize this year (Ali Subotnick to the Hammer)

Has Art Basel lost out to Venice and Documenta? (museums go intellectual)

La MoCa director’s return to fair (except Moca and Lacma, who go Basel)

Death heads for the fair (skulls and bones throughout)

Where have the Chinese stars gone? (not to Basel)

Museums squeezed by the market (art crisis for the institutions)


And that's all for chatting at this time.  More from documenta...georgia




 (Photos:  Paul McCarthy, Anish Kapoor)


Posted by ArtSlant Team on 6/16/07

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