BeAdvisors Art Deparment has been touring Basel for Art Basel 2018 selecting the most remarkable galleries and arists in Art Basel ‘Statements’ and Liste 2018.
ART BASEL 2018 – STATEMENTS
Croy Nielsen, Vienna
GEORGIA GARDNER GRAY (1988, New York, USA) lives and works in Berlin.
Georgia Gardner is known for her submersive installations, which incorporates theatrical narratives to blur the lines between artwork, character, and prop. Often Gray’s work involves taking on varying personas. The byproducts of this performative element make up the works, with the counterpoint of cntradiction playing a significant part. Symbols of the past and present are equally appropriated to interrogate the value of projecting into a utopic future.
At the centre of Gray’s enveloping stage set at Art Basel 2018 – comprising painting, sculpture, and architecture – is the controllr, the name given to an undercover employee of the Berlin transit system whose job is to catch fare dodgers. The controller’s profession requires the essential element of deception. He or she is dressed in plain clothes unskilled and so to look like an ordinary passenger. These employees – unskilled and working odd hours for low wages – are not so different from the citizenry they police. Gray’s protagonist embodies the insiious specter of societal control present in her adopted city, Berlin. Her project casts the audience in the role of probing the psychology of both passenger and controller.
Georgia Gardner Gray studied at Cooper Union in New York. Her works were presented for the first time a in a solo exhibition at the project space Acud Gallery, Berlin, in 2016. Gerdner Gray has participated in the group shows Monday is A Day between Sunday and Tuesday (Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berin 2017), New Theater: Selected Plays (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York 2015), The Pipe at the Gates of Dawn (Jan Kaps Gallery, Cologne 2014), among others.
White Space Beijing, Beijing
CHRISTINE SUN KIM (1980, Orange County, USA)
Berlin-based artist Christine Sun Kim, whose first language is American Sign Language (ASL), approaches the concept of sound via deconstructive exercises, experiments, and observations through drawing, paiting, and performance. Over the course of developing her own visual language, Kim explores and employs elements of various information systems. By combining aspects of graphic and musical notation, body language, and ASL, she uses these systems as a means to expand what each is able to communicate and to invent a new grammar and structure for her compositions.
The project presented by White Space Beijing at Art Basel 2018 rotates around the experience of listening as not an experience involving mere sound, but also a variety of sensory, emotional, and physical responses. After the birth of her daughter in 2017, Kim began to concern herself with what it means to raise a hearing child – and moreover, doing so in a trilingual household. In order for Kim’s deafness and the use of American Sign Language to remain a key nor in her daughter’s life, she has created what she calls a “Sound Diet”. This concept aims to ensure that Deaf culture, as well as the use of ASL as a core language, are not otherised and eventually considered less relevant or efficient due to the child’s socialisation in a hearing-dominant society, and thus has practical real-life implications for her family. As a piece, Sound Diet consists of various suggested amounts of listening fir hearing people in different social and communicative situations. Kim’s score accompanies short texts suchas “Suggested Amount of Listening to the Radio During a Car Trip from A to B”, and, as she lives together with her hearing partner, “Suggested Amount of Spoken Language at a Deaf Person’s Home”.
Christine Sun Kim has a MFA in Sound/Music from Bard College and an earlier MFA from the School of Visual Arts. She is a TED Snior Fellow and has been awarded TED and MIT Media Lab Fellowships. . Selected exhiitions and performances have been held at: White Space, Beijing (solo); Carroll/Fletcher, London (solo); De Appel, Amsterdam (solo); nyMusikk, Oslo; Sound Live Tokyo, Toko; Berlin Biennale; Shanghai Biennale; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Rubin Museum, New York; PS1, New York; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Stigter van Doesburg, Amsterdam
HELEN VERHOEVEN (1974, Leiden, The Netherlands)
Verhoeven reveals contradictory tendencies within her work: her brushwork can be crude, then careful, sometimes careles and blasé, then seemingly urgent and unapologetic. The drawing can be simultaneous clumsy and deliberate. There is a sense of conflict in the presence of both tenderness and aggression and while the placement of banal still life objects and semi-sexual reerences to the nude genre seem playful, the paintings are nonetheless serious and oddly severe. Verhoeven loves to work in series and gives her classical subjects – the group ortrait, the mother figure, religious classical subjects – a disturbing contemporary outlook.
For Art Basel 2018, Stigter van Doesburg presents Church I, which can be explained further by the artist’s herself: “I sarted to think that I had lived 500 years ago, been religiously inclined, and a man, I should/would/might have been asked to build a church or two. This imagining, combined with a persistent longing for a room of my own, drove me to start construction. I wanted a church, to utilize the institution’s overwhelming visual strategies to create a space of hellfire and glory, but to make it secular and humanist, beyond traditional narratives and iconography. I imagined a place that would celebrate and commiserate anything and everythng: past present future, real or imagined… a kind of psycho-archaeological big, with violence f biblical proportions, but also with pretty light and naked ladies; the big and the dirty: the small and the silly; the nice stupid terrible; the foolish, the fantastic.”
Helen Verhoeven studied at San Franciso Art Institute, New York Academy of Art and the Rijksakedemie in Amsterdam. In 2008 she won the Royal Prize of Paiting and in 2010 the Wolvecampprijs. She had a solo presentation at Schunck in Heerlen (2011) and her work has been shown at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Saatchi Gallery, London, Nederlansche Bank Amsterdam, FLAG Art Fondation New York. She recently finished a major commission for the Supreme Court in The Hague. A5t the moment she has a solo exhibition at the Bonnafantenmuseum in Maatricht that will last until December.
STUART MIDDELTON (1987, Crewe, UK) lives and works in Glasgow.
Stuart Middelton makes sculptures, comics, nimated films, architectural models, paintings and site-specific works. He also write short fiction. Now relocated in Glasgow, Middleton is part of a generation of artists who came of age in lockstep with the regeneration, gentrification, corporatisation, and privatisation of the capital. His works can be read in relation to the harmful impact these processes have had on already marginal bodies, spaces, communities, and cultues.
Custard Winds (2018) meshes images of a Victorian prison, a devilish truck tearing down the motorway in the dead of night, misty celestial floodlit borderland, a housefly, fungus and a bedroom with the nauseating claustrophobic spirals of the inner ear. Playing out in the heads of the little sleeping people like a bacteria induced dream, their bodies rest whilst their psychic chambers are colonised by mould spores, machines and insects relentlessly in motion. Wildly varying in scale the sets, puppets and locations of the video have been animated into an industrial fanasia, surging through the dead of night illuminated by brief flashes of light, scored by a soundtrack made of using only the artist’s mouth.
Stuart Middleton studied at HBK Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany and Camberwell College of Art, London. Selected solo shows are at KM Künstlerhaus Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz (forthcoming, 2018); Carlos/Ishikawa, London (forthcoming, 2018); Beat, ICA, Lonon (2017); Beat, Tramway, Glasow (2017); the gonks, Carlos/Ishikawa, London (2015); Sad Sketches, Piper Keys, London (2014); A Year Passes Like Nothing (Performance), Limoncello, London (2013); Tankini, Cole, London (2011).
JTT, New York
DOREEN GARNER (1986, Philadelphia) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Doreen Garner’s artistic practice is penetrated by rap culture, feminism, craft, pathology, identity, fish, abnormality, race, sexuality, beauty, anatomy, cultural value, and personal narrative. She reconfigures her perverse observations as a black, Christian, female artist into new, uncanny experiences. The work is raw. The work is twisted. The work is visually combative, challenging the viewer to confront it and the artist herself. Conflating difficult materials into compositions that contest established standards of normativity and desirability, she challenges pervasive social conventions, orchestrating comfortability nd uncomfortability within the viewing psyche.
The installation by Doreen Garner, designed specifically for Art Basel, engages the history of medical experimentation con black women’s bodies in America. By refusing to relegate this history into a depoliticized record of the past, Garner emphasized the problematic relationship of medicine ad race that persist today. Dangling from hooks at its center are multiple oblong sculptures made of silicone body parts sutured together with strapless, marbleized silicone, expanding foam, fiberglass insulation, a protective layer of sharp needles, and an array of meticulously arranged beads. The site of these fragmented bdies alludes to the process of cutting open a body and suturing it back together, a representation of the dehumanzation that back bodies have experienced throughout history.
Doreen Garner lives and works in Brookling, New York. Recent exhibitions include A Man on a Pedestal in 2017 at Pioneer Works in Bookling, together with Kenya Robinson; solo shows at Larrie in New York and at George Mason University in Virginia; group shows such as Cell Counts organized by Visual AIDS in New York and The Hela Project at the National Museum of African Americn History in Washington DC.
Koppe Astner, Glasgow
DICKON DRURY (1986, Salisbury, UK) lives and works in London.
Challenging traditional notions of seeing, Dickon Drury injects comedy into his work to call into question how and what we choose to honour. Drury’s fascination with the potential of shadows creates warped and uncanny imagery, which lead to playful compositions. These compositions while delightful to the eye, neither portray traditional images of beauty nor straightforward scenes, leaving the viewer with the responsibility to interpret his intentions.
Large-scaled Kitchen Table with Maquett (2018) is an example of Drury’s fascination with the ordinary turned into extraordinary. Drury often paints cherished objects behind cases and fences, allowing the viewer to see banal forms as artefacts worth documenting and preserving, combating the often repetitive tradition of still-life and portraiture by injecting his work with obvious slapstick tropes.
Dickon Druy studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London. His recent solo exhibitions include ‘Holed Up’ at Galleri Opdahl, Stavanger; ‘If the Sea was Whiskey’ at Frutta, Rome; ‘The Who’s Who of Whos’ at Koppe Astner, Glasgow and ‘Optics Don’t Make Marks’ at Spike Island Project Space, Bristol. His work has also been included in exhibitions at The Royal Acdemy, London; Josh Lilley, London; 0-0, Los Angeles and Rogue Artist Project Space, Manchester. He lives and works in London.
The Breeder, Athens
VANESSA SAFAVI (1980, Lausanne, Switzerland) lives and works in Berlin.
Vanessa Safavi combines multi-layered cultural and art historical references in the form of objects, materials and pictures transporting them from the resources of her own multicultural bckground, her travels and her ethnological research. Nature and science versus culture or philosophy, her work often borrows diverse shapes. Different references to important women artists like Carol Rama, Louise Bourgeois, Lynda Benglis and Alina Szapocznikow can alo be traced in the works.
For LISTE 2018, The Breeder has brought together the works of four women artists in a project titled ‘Let Girls Be Angry’. Vanessa Safavi unearths and negotiates systems of psychological abuse operating in the collective unconscious, by questioning why society breeds and nurtures the negatie attitudes towards women that have become so inherent in the wider culture. Deconstruction becoe hopeful attempts at rebuilding.
Vanessa Safavi studied Visual Arts at ECAL – École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne. Her most recent solo exhibitions include Barbara Seilr Gallery, Zürich (2016); Kunstverein Grafschaft, Bentheim, Germany (2015); Amygdala, The Breeder Playroom, Athens (2015); Airbags, MOTInternational, Brussels (2015); La Nuit Liquide, The Breeder, Athens (2014); Cloud Metal Cities, Kunsthalle São Paulo, So Paulo (2014).
El Apartamento, Havana, Cuba
REYNIER LEYVA NOVO (1983, Havana, Cuba)
The work of Reynier Leyva Novo proposes a personal way of facing History writing. Whether from the premises of video, phoography, installationism, or object production, his gaze is crossed by the postmodern tendency to enhance subjectivism and alternative discursive lines above speeches of official affiliation. Novo recovers data, inquires, goes back to the forgotten events, and dismmbers the History only for rearticulating it in new ways.
The series A Happy Day shares a post-utopian vision in the context of dictatorships motivated by a utopian conception of society: the Mao Zedong’s communist project in China or the Fidel Castro’s socialism in Cuba. It is about anthological photographs of such
dictators in which the protagonist has been removed from the image composition by means of a complex digital postproductin work.
Novo’s works has been shown in several exhibitions such as El peso de la muerte (Continua Gallery, San Gimignano, Italy) and El peso de la Historia (collateral show to the XII Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba), iri Devi Khandavilli (Lisa Sette Gallery, Arizona, USA) and El polvo, la sangre, el sueño común (Museum of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture of Umeå, Sweden). He also has ben invited to participate at the Venice Biennale (Italy), Frestas Art Triennial (Brazil), ArtBo International Art Fair (Colombia), the Armory Show (USA), and ARCO Madrid Art Fair (Spin), among others.
Ermes Ermes, Vienna
GINA FOLLY (1983, Zurich, Switzerland) lives and works in Basel.
Folly’s work investigates the effects of economic, political, cultural and social changes on the everyday realities, habits, and self-cnception of the individual. She subjects objects and symbols to minimal contextual shifts and critically thematizes the promises that our striving for greater productivity and naturalness in an increasingly technologized environment holds out. Everyday objects and situations as well as fauna and flora occur repeatedly in her works as motifs or maerial and looking for a confrontation between humans and their private and public surrounding.
The work presented at Liste 2018 is an installation composed by seven elements: bells sought inside the zoo to motivate and entertain polar bears to try to avoid they from being depressed. Like most of her production, also in this occasion she emphasizes the relations and exchanges between objets in her way of using, altering and mixing industrial production processes with artisanal or even homemade techniques.
Gina Folly studied at the ZHdK in Zurich, the Zurich University of Arts.Her works have been shown in exhibitions such as Follow You (A project by Belo Campo, Galeria Francisco Fino, Lisbon, 2017), Othr Life (Studioli, Rome, 2017), I want you to live in my city (Ermes-Ermes, Vienna, 2017), Temporarily Unavailable (Ginerva Gabino, Cologne, 2017), Gina Folly et Elle&Antélio en conversation (Tunnel Tunnel, Lausanne), amongst others.
JAKUB CZYSZCZOŃ (1983, Poznan, Poland) lives and works in Poznan.
As Jakub Bąk says in Micrograms: “Czyszczoń’s painting practice is a kind of carefully conducted micro-explosions which produce an image of painting matter in state of highly energy saturated movement. The painter methodically operates with the detail and the detail of detail multiplied evenly in all directions at once, both in the plan of the surface and into the successive layers of scratched paint and layered glazes. Following these micro-events with increasing intensity one can see their movement: continuous, with no beginning, direction and pose, without a starting point and no destination.”
The artworks belonging to the very last period of production of the artist (2017-18) are the result of his new experimentation with painting. His practice used to be related to assemblage, where the paint represented an element among other elements on the artwork. Today, his style gives ore attention to colours and the gestural value of painting.
Jakub Czyszczoń studied Graphic Design and Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Poznan and Visual Communication Stuies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Poznan. Among his most recent individual shows there are Ermes Ermes (Rome, 2016); Stereo (Warsaw, 2016). Some of his recent group shows are Volume Effort (Hotel Polonez, Poznan 2017); Pure Formality (Galeria Labirynt, Lublin 2015).