New program 2015

New program 2015

Kunsthalle Basel

Zhana Ivanova, All the Players, 2013. Performance view, Rijksakademie open studios, Amsterdam, 2013. Photo: Gert-Jan van Rooij.

January 19, 2015

New program 2015

Kunsthalle Basel
Steinenberg 7
4051 Basel

Kunsthalle Basel announces the start of a new program under its current, recently installed director, Elena Filipovic. Building on Kunsthalle Basel’s venerable history of thought-provoking exhibitions by some of the most promising artists working today, the new direction demonstrates a penchant for projects with intellectual and formal rigor and an experimental approach—inventive with respect not only to art making, but also to the form of the exhibition as such. The program will remain fervently international and committed to risk taking, featuring both emerging artists and exceptional older figures whose practices deserve greater visibility. 

Inaugurating the program is a particularly unusual project that stretches the nature of exhibition making and announces that something new is being set in place at Kunsthalle Basel—and that much more, as yet unknown, is still to come:

Zhana Ivanova: Ongoing Retrospective (Chapter 1)
January 30–February 15
Opening: January 29, 7pm 

The Bulgarian-born, Amsterdam-based performance artist Zhana Ivanova (b. 1977) will have her first institutional solo show at Kunsthalle Basel. The nature of her performances often involves revealing, on the one hand, the underlying codes, rules, and structures in society, and, on the other hand, a form of prediction or future tense; thus her exhibition proposes to operate a bit like her work, revealing something about the codes, rules, and structures of exhibition making and setting those into an indeterminate future. Called Ongoing Retrospective, it will reverse the typical nature of the retrospective—as something that comes at the end of an older artist’s career and looks back—since here we will start at the beginning of this young artist’s career and look forward. Her exhibition of performances will be staged over time instead of merely space, and in “chapters,” to be presented one at a time, spread over several years (as many as the current director is in place) and whenever it is decided that there is another important work that merits inclusion in her “retrospective.” Ongoing Retrospective (Chapter 1) will feature one recent performance piece by the artist. A selection of older, current, and future pieces will become visible in a gradual and ongoing manner as the artist’s oeuvre develops. This and future chapters are realized with the support of Fiorucci Art Trust.

Vincent Meessen / Thela Tendu: Patterns for (Re)cognition
February 13–May 25
Opening: February 12, 7pm

Patterns for (Re)cognition is the first exhibition in Switzerland of the Belgian artist Vincent Meessen (b. 1971), who will represent Belgium at this year’s Venice Biennale. Meessen’s research-based practice often includes investigations into gaps in the writing of history, particularly colonial histories. In line with that, Meessen will use his show to present an array of modular structures, found 16-millimeter films, a sound piece, and other collected objects built around a selection of 1930s abstract paintings by the little known Congolese painter Thela Tendu (b. ca. 1890, died ca. 1960). Meessen here acts as both featured artist and curator of what will be the largest exhibition to date of Tendu’s abstract work (including many pieces never shown publicly before). Framing these, Meessen’s elaborate scenography for the exhibition is more than a display device, it is, in his words, a “constructivist scenario” producing the conditions for legibility of Tendu’s stunning abstractions and the colonial history to which they testify. Realized in partnership with the Royal Library of Belgium and with the support of Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte.

Mark Leckey: UniAddDumThs
March 6–May 31
Opening: March 5, 7pm 

Mark Leckey’s (b. 1964) UniAddDumThs is a new installation by the former Turner Prize winner that is ambiguously—and provocatively—both an exhibition the artist curated and an artwork he authored. The British artist spent years gathering a pantheon of digital images of archaic exotica, artworks, and visionary machines from the Internet, and then several more years while the “original” referents for that data were tracked down and borrowed from institutions around the world. The result was a show Leckey curated in 2013 called The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things. At Kunsthalle Basel, Leckey presents an “Ersatz” of that show, comprised of copies, including various 3D printed objects, 2D cardboard cutouts, photographic reproductions, and other replicas of the original objects, and calls it UniAddDumThs. Set in a specially designed scenography, the result is at once strange, surreal, and humorous—a revelation of the artist’s persistent fascination with “dumb things” as much as with technology, the Internet, and the slippery relationship between the real and its simulacrum. Realized in collaboration with WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels and MADRE, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples. A comprehensive catalogue on the artist accompanies the exhibition.

Anicka Yi
June 12–August 16
Opening: June 11, 7pm 

Perishable substances, whether deep-fried flowers or recalled powdered milk, potato chips or snail excretions, are Korean-born artist Anicka Yi’s (b. 1971) medium of choice. Juxtaposed with their opposites—seemingly indestructible plastics, steel pots, chrome dumbbells—and often embedded within glycerin, resin, or wax, Yi’s sensorial creations testify as much to her sense of techno-sensual chemical experimentation as to the psychological charge (desire, longing, or loss) she imbues things with. For Kunsthalle Basel, the New York-based artist presents a major new installation that extends her fascination with combustion, entropy, and olfactive systems. A special, limited edition artwork-as-publication by the artist accompanies the exhibition and indeed will burn within it. Exhibition and publication co-produced with the Fondation Galeries Lafayette, Paris.

Vincent Fecteau
June 18–August 23
Opening: 17 June, 7pm 

Vincent Fecteau’s (b. 1969) sculptural practice is rooted in the American artist’s early work with collage, often using pages cut from architectural magazines. Demonstrating a similar sense of modesty, meticulous craftwork, and a curious formal grammar in both mediums, he has over the last two decades defined a distinctly singular aesthetic. For his Kunsthalle Basel exhibition, the San Francisco-based artist will premiere a body of new work that testifies at once to a return to origins and a new direction for the artist: these wall sculptures incorporating collage will be brought into relief through juxtaposition with a selection of earlier works. 

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January 19, 2015

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