Sara Jantzen | 18. Juni 2022
Art Basel Week 2022 – Swiss Art & Design Awards
The exhibition of the Swiss Art & Design Awards is a bit different than the others taking place at the Messe Basel this week. The awards are publicly funded, the entry to the exhibition is free for everyone and the entire show is generally more down to earth. The hall is large and there is a lot of empty space around the two exhibition areas, which makes it feel open and inviting.
We recommend entering Hall 3 through the project of 2021 laureate MacIver-Ek Chevroulet, lead by Meryl Barthe. They won last year in the architecture category and have now transformed their idea of a back door into reality. Usually, the Messe area is closed off from the city but the project has built a Deliberate Leak: the perfectly flat facade to the Riehenring is disrupted by a pushed out window, there is now a hole through which visitors can enter. On the street level, you can hop in and let an operator move you up to the exhibition on a platform that slides up and down the building.
One half of the hall is occupied by the Swiss Art Awards exhibition, most of the artworks are from finalists of the art category, half way through at the right you can find the critique, publishing and exhibition category, at the far back on the right there are the models of the architecture competition and the last aisle belongs to the Kiefer Hablitzel | Göhner Art Prize for artists under the age of 30. The exhibition is not too big and the layout is clear which makes it easy to walk through and actually look at everything.
There are some artworks I especially enjoyed, personally.
Shirin Yousefi created the installation Machination (2022) that projects light ghosts onto wall and ceiling.
Anjesa Dellova painted a monochrome orange triptych consisting of A HO HO HO, Ë HË HË HË and O HO HO HO (all 2022). Each painting depicts 3 or 4 men in traditional garb and their gestures and exaggerated facial expressions reference the Albanian male mourning ritual „Gjama“.
Ceylan Öztrük’s work Dreaming Pedestal (2022) consists of an unerect silicone pedestal lying on the floor. It cannot and will not handle the work of lifting up an artwork, it becomes the artwork itself.
The other half of the hall is occupied by the Swiss Design Awards exhibition. Rather than in aisles or open booths, the works are exhibited in many smaller rooms connected by doorways. It’s a crowded space but in a nice way that invites the visitors to explore the design projects of all the different categories from Graphic Design to Photography and from Product Design to Fashion and Textile Design.
The Face-o-mat Sai Bot by Tobias Gutmann automatically creates abstract portraits of visitors and then sends it to you via e-mail.
Nicolas Haeni adopted the motto „One sculpture a day keeps the virus away“ during lockdown in Switzerland. He invented daily moving sculptures out of everyday objects in his home and then filmed them.
Sebastian Marbacher was comissioned by a climbing center to design seating furniture for their renovated bouldering gym. He used the massive beams of the old wall structure to make chairs and benches.