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Art Basel

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Can Critical Moving Images Exist in the Art Fair Model? In Conversation with Maxa Zoller

by Olga Stefan
Basel, June 2015: Maxa Zoller is the new curator of this year’s Film Sector at Art Basel. Leading up to her film programme this week, Olga Stefan spoke with the Cairo-based curator and lecturer about the blurred lines between film and video art and their implications on modes of viewing; how film can be commodified; political films and their impact at art fairs; and the spaces of free expression in Cairo. Olga Stefan: Could you describe for us what this all-encompassing category of "moving image" refers to? What are the differences in form between video art, traditional and experime... [more]
Posted by Olga Stefan on 6/16/15
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Parcours: Taking Art Basel to the Streets

by Federico Florian
The Dreiländereck (literally, “angle of the three countries”) rises up on the northern end of the Kleinhuningen Port in Basel. It’s a metal pillar, resembling a silver screwed missile, oriented towards the sky and signaling the exact point where three nations—Switzerland, France, Germany—meet together. Basel is a city wedged into the core of Europe; it’s a border town, stuck in the offshoots of Swiss mountains and split in two by an ample bight of the Rhine. It’s a place whose metropolitan identity has been molded by trade—of goods, ideas, an... [more]
Posted by Federico Florian on 6/16/14
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LAX -----> BASEL

by A. Moret
The utterance of “Basel” rolls off the tongue like a whisper. No matter the inflection or language in which it’s spoken, the name of the small city in Switzerland is synonymous with one of the most influential art fairs of the calendar year. For a single week in the middle of June nearly all hotels are booked. The quaint and picturesque city in Northern Switzerland that straddles France and Germany, measuring a mere 9.2 square miles, becomes an international hub where hundreds of galleries from over 30 continents make their annual pilgrimage. Basel—the mecca, the Holy... [more]
Posted by A. Moret on 6/20/14
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Diversity rules at 45th edition of the art market’s Olympics

by Edo Dijksterhuis
Art fair participants complain, what’s new? But instead of the usual lamentations about hesitant collectors keeping their pocket books closed, this year dealers’ biggest worry was overly aggressive buyers. They just waltzed into a booth, pointed out a work and did not take no for an answer, even if the work had already been sold. This marks the cautious upswing in the art market which has been getting back up on its feet after being hit by the global financial crisis. Although Art Basel—the self-proclaimed art market’s Olympic Games—typically attracts the type of high net wort... [more]
Posted by Edo Dijksterhuis on 6/19/14
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Performing Bodies in Basel: 14 Rooms of Living Art

by Keren Goldberg
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.&rdqu... [more]
Posted by Keren Goldberg on 6/15/14
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Art Basel: the Burning Ring of Fire

by Daniel Rolnik
Whenever I think about art fairs, the first thing that comes to mind is money. Like how Art Basel can cost a gallery well over $10,000 for a small booth, which means they have to sell at least $20,000 worth of art (based upon a 50/50 split with each artist) just to cover their upfront cost. Still leaving the ungodly debt of crating, shipping, handling, installing, flying, eating, driving, drugging, and stain removals to be paid for. Most of the people who attend won’t buy anything besides an admission ticket. Unless they’re hungry and decide to shell out some dough on an overpriced salad that... [more]
Posted by Daniel Rolnik on 6/13/13
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Kwiekulik at Art Feature

by Mara Goldwyn
Behind the Iron Curtain, opportunities for subversive art were slim. But the Polish artist duo Zofia Kulik and Przemysław Kwie—known as Kwiekulik—found their own ways to draw a curtain between their work and the authorities. If the Socialist way of being within the former Eastern Bloc regimes was to infuse every corner of life, Kwiekulik was able to subvert such a life via a private, artistic practice. In their home, behind closed doors, mostly using their own actions and those of their child as subject, they turned official propaganda on its head. It was the custom in Poland in the time... [more]
Posted by Mara Goldwyn on 6/20/11
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Paulo Nenflidio at Art Statements

by Mara Goldwyn
Objects of impossible weight, like airplanes, are able to fly through the use of motion. A “kinetic sculpture” by the Brazilian artist Paulo Nenflidio, manages to bring a whale aloft in the air, much like it occupies the water. Made entirely of brass welded with tin, through the magic of technology, an object of impossible weight again floats. According to the artist, “the caudal and pectoral fins [of the whale] resemble wings of an aircraft. The whole work resembles an aerial or underwater vessel”. “Kinetic” is defined as “the work needed to accelerate the body of a given mass from rest to its... [more]
Posted by Mara Goldwyn on 6/20/11