Art Basel in Basel 2018: 5 highlights not to be missed!

Published on 6/8/2018 by Christoph Spangenberg
Art Basel Unlimited 2018 (MCH Group)
With all the highlights being featured at the forthcoming Art Basel in Basel have you still managed to retain an overview? We present five highlights to you that are not to be missed when the international art world meets up again in Basel from 14 to 17 June 2018. Update: Now includes highlight videos of the 2018 edition.

Parcours: Sounds from the sewers
A mysterious landscape of sounds that seemingly emerge from nowhere: between the Münsterplatz and the Kunstmuseum. Hannah Weinberger, who has made her home in Basel, is installing ten sound systems in the sewers located in Rittergasse. Each of the sewers will resound with site-specific compositions by Weinberger that play against the daily sounds of the city and the sewers.

The "Down There" installation is one of 23 site-specific works of art in the Parcours sector which is being curated for the third year running by Samuel Leuenberger, Director and Curator of SALTS in Birsfelden. Entitled "Telling Stories for the Future", this year's Parcours is being staged around the Münsterplatz in the historical centre of Basel. One special highlight is the Parcours Night with live performances and music presentations on Saturday, 16 June as of 7 pm. Parcours and Parcours Night are free of charge for the public.

Unlimited: 72 large-scale works in Hall 1.1
A tropical enclave full of unexpected elements: Rashid Johnsons "Antoine's Organ" is a rampant installation within a steel frame. Johnson combines 250 plants with shea butter sculptures and music, video portraits and a piano.
Art Basel in Basel, 2018, Unlimited (MCH Group)

"Antoine's Organ" is part of the Unlimited sector. Art Basel's unique platform for large-scale projects provides galleries with the opportunity to showcase installations, monumental sculptures, video projections, wall paintings, photographic series and performance art that transcend the traditional art-fair stand. Unlimited is curated for the seventh time by Gianni Jetzer, Curator-at-Large at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC. Further highlights include the interactive multimedia installation of Nedko Solakov. Nine sofas are arranged in the shape of Chinese characters constituting the sentence "I miss Socialism, maybe".

Feature: Political art by Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid
For her politically-driven work, Lubaina Himid was the first black artist to be awarded the British Turner Prize, one of the world's most important awards for modern art. The Hollybush Gardens gallery is presenting several works by Himid as part of this year's Feature sector.

Artworks by Lubaina Himid (Art Basel, MCH Group)

This year, Feature is showing 31 precisely curated projects from both historical and contemporary artists.

Film: Works of art from a mental institution
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has experienced hallucinations ever since her childhood. They influence her art and ultimately lead her to a mental institution in Tokyo where she has lived voluntarily for almost 40 years. Today, Kusama, who is more than 80 years old, is one of the most popular artists in the world. In her documentary "Kusama – Infinity", Heather Lenz portrays the Japanese artist and her quest to achieve international fame. Lenz depicts her childhood in rural Japan, the move to the USA where, in the 1960s, she vied with Andy Warhol for attention from the press, and fought against sexism and racism and her illness.

Kusama - Infinity (Art Basel, MCH Group)

The special screening of "Kusama – Infinity" is one of the works selected by film curator Marian Masone which is being shown as part of this year's Art Basel film programme. The film programme is being curated for the fourth time in succession by curator Maxa Zoller . It will be running from 11 to 16 June in the Stadtkino Basel, presenting a total of 16 film and video works. The other films include "Human Flow" by Ai Weiwei, in which the activist captures the humanitarian crisis inherent in the global refugee crisis, and the Hitchcock homage "Vertighost" by Lynn Hershman Leeson.

Messeplatz: "Basilea" -  Active participation of the city
Creating awareness of the active role that we, as citizens, have to intervene in the urban environment at an individual and collective level. Promoting discussions about the use and ownership of public space. This is what "Basilea" sets out to do. "Basilea" has been conceived by artists Lara Almarcegui, Isabel Lewis and the architecture studio Recetas Urbanas. The project is presented by Creative Time and has been commissioned especially for the Messeplatz during Art Basel. With the assistance of local and international volunteers, Recetas Urbanas is erecting a multi-purpose structure in which different activities and workshops are to be presented in the course of the Art Basel week. "Basilea" opened on 23 May already and, as of Monday, 11 June, will additionally be featuring an installation of gravel deposits by artist Lara Almarcegui from an active Basel quarry.

Art Basel in Basel, 2018, Basilea (MCH Group)

Videos from the 2018 edition of Art Basel's show in Basel:

Art Basel is being held in Basel from 14 to 17 June 2018.  Preview days (by invitation only) on Tuesday, 12 and Wednesday, 13 June. The Parcours and film programme are starting on Monday, 11 June already and are open to the public. For more details and tickets:

Photo credits: Unlimited: Art Basel; Feature: Lubaina Himid Courtesy Hollybush Gardens, London, Photo credit: Andy Keate; Film: Heather Lenz, Basilea: Art Basel

Christoph Spangenberg

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