We are very pleased to invite you to a conversation between Jean-Christophe Ammann and Adam Szymczyk on December 20 at 8pm at Kunsthalle Basel. The talk will be moderated by Theodora Vischer.
„Diese Ausstellung, so meine ich, besitzt eine provozierende Selbstverständlichkeit, was sie sinnvoll macht.“ (This exhibition is of a provocative self-evident nature that makes it meaningful.) These are the words with which Jean-Christophe Ammann in the foreword of the exhibition catalogue describes the exhibition 6 Künstler aus Basel – curated by him in 1981 – which the current show at Kunsthalle Basel 6 Künstler aus Basel x2 refers to.
Ammann, who was director of the Kunsthalle Basel from 1978 to 1988 provided the opportunity for six upcoming figures of Basel scene – Alex Silber, Anselm Stalder, Rut Himmelsbach, Hannah Villiger, Miriam Cahn und Vivian Suter, as well as two performance artists Christine Brodbeck und Anna Winteler – to show their work for the first time at the major venue and – more importantly – in the prime time and not as part of the annual Weihnachtsausstellung (Christmas Exhibition) that has been taking place in Basel since ever, currently under the name “Regionale”. Over the past three decades, 6 Künstler aus Basel has become somewhat of a legendary exhibition.
The current show at Kunsthalle Basel claims that an exhibition is a form that remains and can be revived, “played again”, rather than just being an event that ceases to exist once the show is over, or that continues to exist merely as a memory or document. Doing the same show differently, in a different time and within a changed context (both social and institutional), puts at stake the necessity to unsettle and reconfigure the original.
The 1981 show serves as a tool to generate a new exhibition and at the same time as a model to be reconsidered and transformed. Hence, six young artists who live and work in Basel today, and who were selected from applications submitted to the “Regionale 12” have been additionally invited. When seen together, both exhibitions in 6 Künstler aus Basel x2 can be understood as a twofold reflection on a significant episode in the rich history of exhibition-making at the Kunsthalle Basel.
Location: exhibition space, Kunsthalle Basel
Image: Künstler aus Basel, Kunsthalle Basel, 1981, Installation view with Alex Silber, Photo: Claire Niggli