Kunsthalle Book Day

Kunsthalle Basel invites you to a special day with a program centered around a selection of new books presented by artists, publishers, and authors in the form of talks, presentations, and a performance. The event takes place surrounded by the exhibition The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2021, where you can discover more publications. All presented works are available in our bookshop. Admission is free.


12–12:45 pm
Swiss artists’ books – Schweizer Künstlerbücher – Livres d’artistes suisses – Libri d’artista svizzeri, 2022, by Susanne Bieri

Book presentation by Susanne Bieri, in German

The artist’s book has become a kind of cult object in the history of art and in libraries and yet is met with so many diverse and diffuse definitions. What has been missing from discussions so far is precisely the gap filled by Swiss artists’ books – Schweizer Künstlerbücher – Livres d’artistes suisses – Libri d’artista svizzeri.

13–13:45 pm
Rauch, 2022, by Markus Müller

Conversation with artist Markus Müller, architect Martina Kausch, and architect Marco Merz, in German

Rauch is a publication about the relationship of ideas to their possible materialization. Materials patiently endure the most devious design and sometimes convey it over long periods of time. How much design do we ourselves endure, and what means do we use to counter it? The book formulates these questions on the basis of drawings and collages, but also text contributions by Katharina Dunst, Mohomodou Houssouba, Damian Jurt, Muda Mathis, Markus Müller, and Annaïk Lou Pitteloud. editionfink.ch | buero146.chkunstmuseum.gr.ch

14–14:45 pm
The Book of Sand, 2022–ongoing, by Rahel Zoller

Talk by Rahel Zoller, in English

A presentation about embedding materiality into practice. The work of visual artist and book arts specialist Rahel Zoller subverts, embraces, and interrogates the form of the book itself, playfully unstitching our concept of what a book is. Her talk will also draw on her experience as an educator and how she works with others in rethinking the idea of the book. rahelzoller.com | @rahel.zoller

15–15:45 pm
Salutary Failures, 2021, about Raphael Hefti

Discussion with Raphael Hefti, in German

In a joint discussion, Swiss artist Raphael Hefti and the participants will discuss how to monograph an artist and his work, how to work with graphic designers to translate art into a book, how to write about works while opening them up, and what an editor’s role actually is.

The first comprehensive monograph on Hefti was published on the occasion of his solo exhibition in 2020 at Kunsthalle Basel. With a career spanning over a decade, the artist is celebrated for upending and disrupting seemingly ordinary industrial and post-industrial processes. Hefti’s intimate encounters with materials take form in colossal sculptures, performances that (at times) flirt with disaster, and sprawling public interventions. Savoring an irreverent and tongue-in-cheek relationship to physics, he unveils everyday things well hidden in plain sight and turns the principles of minimalism on their head.

16–16:45 pm
C is for Curator, 2022, by Bice Curiger and Dora Imhof

Conversation with Bice Curiger and Dora Imhof, moderated by Maja Wismer (Head of Contemporary Art, Kunstmuseum Basel), in German

Perhaps no one could say it better than Griselda Pollock. The grande dame of art history herself has written: “Bice Curiger belongs at the center of any history of the emergence and impact of curators. She has decisively shaped a deeply engaged, intelligent, and inclusive vision of contemporary art. Dora Imhof’s brilliant, deeply researched cultural biography is a monument of feminist scholarship, giving us an inclusive redirection of curatorial studies as well as creating through her central character an enriched history of contemporary art.”

12–17 pm
book/stand, 2021, by J.J. Zana

Installation and performance by J.J Zana, in English

J.J. Zana has written: “When it comes to contemporary art, books are no more the only subjects that speak. Text connects to bodies — centrality is offered to space. A book stand, in this new paradigm, is no less than an installation, and, if someone attends, a performance.”

book/stand is based on the first publication of the artist: Cycles. Originally written in French, and translated into English by Kathleen Archer, the book has been designed and printed in Geneva, respectively by Alan Bolumar and Che Huber (Noir sur Noir). Distributed mainly through museums, art bookshops, and galleries, the English edition — three hundred copies — sold out in six months.
English edition | French Edition | @bleuprojekt