Art Basel - the spectacles

art basel 2009

Fuentes, D18. The mood was of course more subdued then at past Basels on Wednesday, but not by too much! Still, there was much less pranky stuff like this then in years past. “You go to school to learn not for a fashion show,” and you go to Basel I guess to shop for art that you want to live with, not to see a carnival freakshow. But to say that nothing was over the top would be a tragic misrepresentation. Let’s see…

art basel 2009

Haye, H19. Nothing says “I have $35,000 to blow on a Basel booth rental and the rep to score one, but it ain’t no thang” like some gold and silver plated chess pieces scattered around, with only an incognito guard for staff.

art basel 2009

This elephant’s cup says, “How ‘bout some PB and Joe? / A friendly reminder from the National Peanut Board.” Serious contender for best-of in the sculpture category.

art basel 2009

Yes-That-Sylvester-Stalone’s horrible self-portrait from a Life cover was one of the few things with a red dot.

art basel 2009

The “is that art or have you just not gotten a chance to tidy up yet?” category is alive and well, represented here by some actual animal poop.

art basel 2009

Some quarters modified to contain blades. If we can’t use art to make suggestions to terrorists, then the terrorists have already won.

art basel 2009

Beautiful but ephemeral. MadeIn’s Metal Language 1 at ShanghaiART.

art basel 2009

Art that got shipped is always a hit. Here are some copper boxes that show fingerprints, smudges, scrapes, and FedEx tracking labels. Walead Beshty.

art basel 2009

Anyone who made anything even vaguely Michael Jackson-related got their piece into Basel. The best of the bunch were Dave LaChapelle three (photoshopped?) images. Here, the MJ Pieta.

art basel 2009

I loved these goldfish swimming around some impenetrable legal-looking documents. Titled “They are learning fast,” John Latham, Lisson Gallery.

art basel 2009

These Lorna Simpson photos were more poignant than spectacles, but don’t miss them.

art basel 2009

This piece comes with instructions. At least it has the decency to be titled “WTF.”

art basel 2009

If you choose to include a little shelf and some magnifying glasses next to your little newspaper cutouts, be sure that they really reward a close look.

art basel 2009

A giant wooden box that tells you to DIE over and over, into infinity. Ivan Navarro. Edition of three, so you probably still have a chance.

art basel 2009

You get two primo Gurskys this year, and here’s one.

art basel 2009

Probably my favorite Jenny Holzer piece of all time.

art basel 2009

William Pope L’s “The Black Factory” at the Botanic Gardens.

art basel 2009

Probably my favorite thing so far was this Chiho Aoshima digital drawing at Perrotin.

art basel 2009

It turns out that the Robert Indiana “LOVE” game is way too easy to play, and this year everyone got in on it. Here’s my winner.

art basel 2009

This whole time you could have chromed an old TV and set it to play nothing but wrestling match footage. Paul Pfeiffer.

art basel 2009

Empty bottle of 90 proof Cuban rum, and time lapse of the artist consuming it over 24 hours. Once again proving that anyone can have a good idea, but it’s only if you execute it elegantly that victory shall be yours.

art basel 2009

Lawrence Weiner’s “PLACED BENEATH THE SAND BENEATH THE SEA” got me. Regen Projects.

art basel 2009

And last but sure as hell not least, Ebony Bones, easily the best performer ever at Art Loves Music (but I missed Peaches), who galvanized the crowd by getting them to move the left. Awesome (but she needs a ballad to break up the set a little). More Later!!

#artbasel2009

Posted: Thursday December 3, 2009 by Alesh Houdek · · Comment feed for this post: RSS, atom

 

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