March 28, 2014 - Museum der Kulturen Basel - Ania Soliman
March 28, 2014

Ania Soliman

Ania Soliman, Social Technologies (exploding wrench 1), 2014. Encaustic and pencil on paper, 143.5 x 143.8 cm. © Museum der Kulturen Basel.

Semiwild—or unlimited desire
28 March–7 September 2014

Museum der Kulturen Basel
Münsterplatz 20
CH – 4051 Basel
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5pm,
first Wednesday 10am–8pm

T +41 61 266 56 00

An artist’s reflection on the permanent exhibition Expeditions
What kinds of desires are embodied in objects? And how do these desires differ in objects made for a consumer market and those made in other types of economies?

For this exhibition the New York-based artist Ania Soliman connects objects from the archive of the Museum der Kulturen Basel with her own drawings and videos. She elicits patterns of meaning through unusual arrangements, including a monumental Buddha with videos of waterfalls and the Zurich Stock Exchange, 3,000 years worth of Chinese coins represented as a pile of crumpled paper, and a masterpiece from New Ireland in a trash-bag tent.

Arranged in six chapters the show begins with works placed in the Expeditions show itself. Here the desire for scientific display is confronted with the desires of bodies taught to think of themselves as commodities, ultimately pointing to the total monetization of global culture. Other themes include the transfer of value, objects, and energy across space and time, the ambiguous status of the ethnographic object, the museum-enforced gridding of objects, and the knot of paradox that hangs over ownership, copyright, and imitation.

As a totality, the exhibition sets up a conceptual questioning of our monetized exchange system and the kind of labor and objects it produces, as well as the way in which these objects structure our desires.

Artist’s biography
Ania Soliman is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York whose work is informed by her multicultural background. Born in Warsaw in 1970, she spent the first 16 years of her life in Cairo and Baghdad, before travelling to study in Paris, London, and Cambridge, MA, where she attended Harvard University. In 2000, she completed the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art and had her first solo show, Biohazards, at the Drawing Center in New York. In 2010, Soliman was invited to participate in the Whitney Biennial in New York. The work she showed there—Natural Object Rant: The Pineapple—was developed at the Laurenz-Haus residency in Basel, Switzerland.


Ania Soliman at Museum der Kulturen Basel
Museum der Kulturen Basel
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