press release

"Art Unlimited": no limits for today’s art

Art Unlimited offers artists and their galleries an exhibi-tion and sales platform that transcends the traditional categories of art shows, group exhibitions and biennials by unifying their advantages in a new format. Assembled in an open exhibition layout, 60 exciting projects are pre-sented, the likes of which could not be seen and pur-chased at any other art show in the world. Many of the works on show (installations, outsize paintings, sculp-tures, video works, performances, etc.) are being created specially for «Art Unlimited». This year’s list of partici-pants is more dazzling than ever and reads like a «Who’s Who» of the current international art scene. To provide visitors even more efficiently with information on the works on show at «Art Unlimited», Art Basel is arranging a «Contact Hour», during which representatives of the exhibiting galleries will give on-the-spot answers to ques-tions from an interested public. In the communication fo-rum «Art Lobby», visitors will be able to meet artists, cu-rators and collectors in person. «Art Unlimited» is gener-ously supported by UBS, a lead-ing international financial institution.

Every year, the unique interplay between artists, galleries, the Art Committee, the curator, the Show Management and the Art Basel technical team creates a dazzling exhibition for contemporary art which supplements the broad selection of the international art show and offers visitors thrilling discoveries. The «Art Committee» selected 60 of the 130 projects submit-ted for this year’s edition of «Art Unlimited». These are being arranged in an open exhibition form by the experienced cura-tor Simon Lamunière. In order to improve the connections between the individual projects and the exhibiting galleries, «Contact Hour» will take place in «Art Unlimited» for the first time. From Wednesday, June 16th to Sunday, June 20th from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Monday, June 21st, from 11 a.m. to noon, members of the gallery's staff or the artists themselves will be available to talk about and explain the projects.

The presentation of the works combines the museum-like quality of the individual works with the charm of the spacious hall and allows works in very different media to enter into dialog with each other. By consciously abandoning specific sections for different types of art, Art Basel is doing justice to the need of many young artists to select the appro-priate medium for each work or to play with several media at once.

Works by the following artists can be seen and purchased at this year’s «Art Unlimited»:

Marina Abramovic (Kelly), Vito Acconci (Gladstone), Pep Agut (Alvear), Miroslaw Balka (Nordenhake), Robert Barry (Meert Rihoux), Lothar Baumgarten (Fischer), Pierre Bismuth (Hécey), Cosima von Bonin (Nagel), Candice Breitz (Kaufmann Francesca), Angela Bulloch (Schipper & Krome), Marie José Burki (Nelson), Jeremy Deller, Simon Starling (Modern Institute), Marta Deskur (Starmach), Stan Douglas (Zwirner), William Eggleston (Cheim & Read), Rodney Graham, Christoph Büchel (Hauser & Wirth), Ceal Floyer (Lisson), Michel François (carlier gebauer), Lothar Hempel (Kern), Christian Jankowski (Klosterfelde), Amar Kanwar (Blum), Tadashi Kawamata (Juda), Job Koelewijn (Welters), Andres Lutz & Anders Guggisberg (Friedrich), Philippe Meste, Atelier van Lieshout (Jousse), Hans Op de Beeck (Hufkens), Finnbogi Pétursson (i8 Galleri), Sergio Prego (Lorenzo), Rob Pruitt (GBE (Modern)), Miguel Angel Ríos (Noire), Bojan Sarcevic (BQ), Mira Schendel (Millan), Jim Shaw (Bernier / Eliades), Ann-Sofi Sidén (Cobo), Penny Siopis (Goodman Gallery), Nedko Solakov (Arndt & Partner), On Kawara (Szwajcer), Günter Umberg (nächst St. Stephan), Mark Wallinger (Reynolds), Erwin Wurm (Krinzinger), Chen Zhen and Kendell Geers (Continua). (List in formation, index March 2004)

Close to busting at the seams; that just about sums up the monumental «Fat House» by Erwin Wurm (Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna). This is a walk-in house made of aluminum, wood and Styrofoam made by the Austrian especially for «Art Unlimited». Equally monumental is the 30 square meter-sized ship’s hull by Cosima von Bonin (Galerie Christian Nagel, Cologne). «LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO STUFF A MUSHROOM», is the name given by the artist to her work which is based on the design of a warship dating from 1925. The work «EN EL AIRE» by Mexican artist Teresa Margolles (Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich) sets out to shock. The work consists of machines producing soap bubbles from a mixture of water and soap. The water is mixed with water which has been used to wash corpses prior to autopsy. This water comes from the Mexico City morgue. Speaking of her work, the artist says: «My work is really tough. It shocks. But as long as depravity, poverty, corruption and unpunished murder exist I will not change the concept of a work». In contrast, there is humor in the new, barely eight minute-long film «A Reverie Interrupted by the Police» by the Canadian Rodney Graham (Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich). Using a technique reminis-cent of silent films, Graham has a prisoner appear who then plays the piano, watched over by a policeman.

The Japanese Tadashi Kawamata (Annely Juda Fine Art, London) plans to erect an approximately four meter-high «Catwalk» through the «Art Unlimited» hall. Visitors will be able to walk along this wooden catwalk to survey the exhibi-tion. In his work «I met», his compatriot On Kawara (Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp) shows 12 pictures and 12 books which were produced between 10 May 1968 and 17 September 1970. Every day, On Kawara recorded chronologically with whom he spoke. There is also a written record of all the cities he visited during this period. The books number a total of 4782 pages.

The work «Chain (Permutation B complete set)» by Angela Bulloch, (Galerie Schipper & Krome, Berlin, Galerie Presenhuber, Zurich and Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp), consists of a 6-part light installation which is based on the color system of Belgian artist André Cadare.

«Art Unlimited» offers artists a platform where works can be dis-played that go beyond the confines of art exhibition booths – often even those of galleries, museums and other traditional forms of presentation. Outsize sculptures, video projections, installations, murals, photo series, performances and digital art can be seen on 12,000 square meters in Exhibition Hall 1, which was built for MCH Basel Exhibition Ltd. by top Swiss ar-chitect and art collector Theo Hotz some years ago. With the establishment of «Art Unlimited» as a special platform, Art Basel not only transcends the traditional concept of indi-vidual exhibition booths, but also overcomes the boundaries imposed on art in many areas: physical limitations such as space, floor load, lighting, acoustics, safety and other techno-logical requirements, and also concept-related limitations – both artistic and curatorial – and, not least, restrictions relating to time. UBS, which generously supports «Art Unlimited» to-gether with Art Basel, thus helps the galleries and their artists to overcome financial limits to exceptional art projects.

The lists of participants at «Art Unlimited» since its premiere in 2000 read like a «Who’s Who» of the most sought-after artists of the past three decades: Gilbert & George, Paul McCarthy, Pipilotti Rist, Tunga, Anri Sala, Francis Alys, Tatsuo Miyajima, Grazia Toderi, Gary Hill, Nam June Paik, Vanessa Beecroft, Lawrence Weiner, Jenny Holzer, Jeff Wall, Bruce Nauman, James Turrell, Atelier van Lieshout, Katharina Fritsch, Santiago Sierra, Louise Bourgeois and many more.

The place for meeting and interacting in the «Art Unlimited» hall, which was intensively used in recent years, will be avail-able to visitors again this year. It includes an information desk with catalogs and documentation on the exhibiting artists, a bookstore, a video library with individually viewable artist vid-eos as well as terminals with digital art. It also includes the communica-tions platform «Art Lobby» where artists, art dealers and the public can meet several times a day to exchange views in an informal setting. In the «Art Lobby» artists as famous as Jeff Koons and Gilbert & George have faced visitors’ questions. A separate limited-edition catalogue of «Art Unlimited» will be published. Pressetext PM 4 Art Unlimited/March 2004