Iris Touliatou

Gift

Iris Touliatou, mothers, Rodeo, London, 2022. Exhibition view. Photo: Lewis Ronald. Courtesy the artist and Rodeo, London / Piraeus

Iris Touliatou, appendage, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, 2022. Installation view: untitled (sweet and low), 2022. Courtesy the artist and Rodeo, London / Piraeus

Iris Touliatou, 2021 Triennial: Soft Water Hard Stone, New Museum, New York, 2021. Installation view: untitled (still not over you), 2019/2021/X, 2021. Courtesy the artist and Rodeo, London / Piraeus

Exhibition poster for Gift by Iris Touliatou, Kunsthalle Basel, 2023. Design: Aurelia Peter

Can gestures such as the shifting of the language and tone of Kunsthalle Basel’s public communication or the artist’s contracting of a life insurance in which the Basler Kunstverein’s more than one thousand members are the beneficiaries reveal invisible but intertwined connections between an institution, its history, and its economic status as it meets mortality, the poetic, and the affective? And can this unraveling act as a “score” that performatively animates an exhibition across its duration? These are the preoccupations at the heart of the site-specific project for Kunsthalle Basel by Iris Touliatou (* 1981), her first solo show in Switzerland and largest exhibition to date. Entitled Gift, suggesting both “a present” when read in English, and “a poison” when read in German, the exhibition of the Greek artist explores both senses of a “Gift” in an experimental exhibition that weaves together the life of an institution with that of an artist.