September 15, 2020 - Kunsthaus Baselland - Thu Van Tran: Novel Without a Title / Sharif Waked: "Halftones"
September 15, 2020

Kunsthaus Baselland

Left: Thu Van Tran, Arirang partition, 2016. Wood, ivory, paper, 131 × 151 × 65 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Meessen De Clercq, Brussels. Thu Van Tran is presented by: Almine Rech (Paris, London, New York), Rüdiger Schöttle (Munich) and Messen De Clercq (Brussel). Right: Sharif Waked, Just A Moment No. 17 (Smiley), 2016. Video, 02:22 min (loop), 16:9, color, sound. Courtesy of the artist.

Thu Van Tran: Novel Without a Title
Sharif Waked: "Halftones"
September 11–November 15, 2020

Curator’s Tour: September 17, 10–10:30am, Thu Van Tran and Sharif Waked. With Ines Goldbach, Director, Kunsthaus Baselland
Curator’s Tour: September 18, 10–10:30am, Thu Van Tran and Sharif Waked. With Ines Goldbach, Director, Kunsthaus Baselland

Kunsthaus Baselland
St. Jakob-Strasse 170
4132 Muttenz, Basel
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T +41 61 312 83 88
Facebook / Instagram / #kunsthausbaselland

Thu Van Tran. Novel Without a Title
For many years Thu Van Tran (*1979, Ho Chi Minh City; lives and works in Paris) has been creating a body of work that includes photographs, drawings, and videos, as well as sculptures and installations, which are brought together in situ to form a grand narrative—a narrative that raises questions about our ability to remember the history of countries, materials, rituals, and legacies. In her works, the artist addresses postcolonial relations between Vietnam and France and Vietnam and the USA and their repercussions that continue to this day. Historical consciousness and collective consciousness—the yesterday that looms over today—are fundamental themes that shape her artistic work. Born in Vietnam, Thu Van Tran fled with her family to France—her current home country—in 1981.

Thu Van Tran’s practice is consistently inspired by literature, history, architecture, and nature, as well as how concepts of contamination, identity, and language are explored within these fields. In 2018 she was nominated for France’s prestigious Prix Marcel Duchamp. Tran completed her studies at the Glasgow School of Art and the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris. 

For the exhibition at the Kunsthaus Baselland—the artist’s first solo show in Switzerland—speech, or rather speechlessness, plays a central role. The exhibition title Novel Without a Title is an explicit reference to the Vietnamese writer Duong Thu Huong and her novel Novel Without a Name. At the heart of this reference is the question of our ability or perhaps our inability to narrate and transmit stories and tragedies. Can we speak about the unspeakable? 

This major showcase of the artist’s work features older material as well as a new complex of work, allowing a profound immersion into her multifaceted, highly poetic oeuvre. The exhibition is curated by Ines Goldbach, Director, Kunsthaus Baselland. 

Our sincere thanks for supporting the exhibition by Thu Van Tran to: Institut Français, Novartis, Ambassade de France en Suisse and Almine Rech. 


Sharif Waked. "Halftones"  
Through sustained reflection on aesthetics and politics, Sharif Waked (*1964, Nazareth; lives and works in Nazareth and Santa Barbara CA) has consistently pierced the absurdities of reality with playful and estranged encounters between various temporalities, cultural-historical products, and political events. 

His oeuvres—ruminations on the meaning of making and seeing art in the digital era—are based in notions of appropriation, translation, and the juncture between image and text. The exhibition at Kunsthaus Baselland—Waked’s first solo presentation in Switzerland—features several works, including pieces from his series “Arabesque” and “Just A Moment,” presented alongside independent works. 

In the series “Just a Moment,” Waked investigates cultural and political moments in present and past histories, playfully juxtaposing different positions and narratives and generating paradoxical and absurd encounters. In the series “Arabesque,” the artist disassembles the building blocks of images to reconstruct what appear as geometric abstract surfaces. 

In this series, and in his work altogether, the artist questions the division between the visual and the verbal, perception and deception, the visual traditions of the past and the digital manipulations of the present, to deliver in a rather formalistic fashion the questioning, breaking, and remaking of meaning.  

The exhibition is curated by Nicola Trezzi, Director and Curator, CCA – Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv, and Ines Goldbach, Director, Kunsthaus Baselland.

We would also like to thank our annual partners:, Ernst und Olga Gubler- Hablützel Stiftung, Jacqueline Spengler Stiftung, Anthony Vischer, Burckhardt + Partner, Gemeinde Muttenz, wernersutter and 

Kunsttage Basel, September 17–20, 2020

Kunsttage Basel is a joint event for contemporary and modern art. Various museums, art institutions, galleries, and off-spaces in and around Basel have put together a special arts program:

The Possible is Monstrous. Works in the Public Sphere
As part of Kunsttage Basel, the special project The Possible is Monstrous presents works by local, national, and international artists from different generations in various public spaces and freely accessible areas of selected institutions. As an interinstitutional collaboration, the project is curated by Elena Filipovic (Kunsthalle Basel), Ines Goldbach (Kunsthaus Baselland), Daniel Kurjaković (Kunstmuseum Basel), and Samuel Leuenberger (SALTS/Art Basel Parcours). The project is generously supported by Swisslos-Fonds Basel-Stadt and Swisslos-Fonds Basel-Landschaft, with organizational support from Art Basel. Participating artists: Yael Bartana, Eric Baudelaire, Mariana Castillo Deball, Latifa Echakhch, Judith Kakon, Teresa Margolles, Marinella Senatore, Augustas Serapinas, Hannah Weinberger, Krzysztof Wodiczko.

Special opening hours during Kunsttage Basel
Thursday–Sunday 10am–6pm, free entrance

Kunsthaus Baselland
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