Author: Yun Lee - FITZ & CO | Date: 19 March 2018
Lara Almarcegui, Isabel Lewis and Recetas Urbanas to collaborate on a public project for Basel's Messeplatz, presented by Creative Time and commissioned by Art Basel
Conceived by artists Lara Almarcegui, Isabel Lewis and Santiago Cirugeda-led architecture studio Recetas Urbanas, ‘Basilea’ encourages reflection on a city’s possibilities through a series of immersive projects connecting the city of Basel, its residents and the over 90,000 visitors who attend Art Basel annually. A Creative Time project commissioned by Art Basel, ‘Basilea’ will open to the public on May 23, 2018, culminating the week of Art Basel. The project marks Creative Time’s first international public commission and the first collaboration between the artists. Art Basel, whose Lead Partner is UBS, will take place at Messe Basel from June 14 to June 17, 2018.
‘Basilea’ is Elvira Dyangani Ose’s first project as Senior Curator at Creative Time. The project aims to create awareness of the capacity we, as citizens, have to alter and re-appropriate an urban environment, at both individual and collective levels. It will encourage discussions about the self-governance and the use and ownership of public space. The project includes a collectively built structure, a large-scale installation, a series of workshops, events and hosted occasions.
In the three weeks preceding Art Basel, Recetas Urbanas, led by architect Santiago Cirugeda, will work with local and international volunteers to design and build a multi-purpose civic structure, from locally sourced and second-hand materials. Participants will be invited to learn from and teach each other in a collective exchange and collaborative experience. During its construction and upon completion, the civic structure will be open to the public and activated by programs and performances. Following the closing of the 2018 edition of Art Basel, the structure will be relocated and given to one of the local organizations that participated in its construction, extending the significance and utility of the project long after the show concludes.
During the week of the fair, Lara Almarcegui will orchestrate a large-scale installation of gravel deposits from an active quarry that will surround the civic structure. Growing daily in increments equivalent to the gravel extracted from a Basel quarry each day, the work serves as an invitation to reflect on the consequences of our extractive relationship to the land. In conjunction, Almarcegui will create a map of Basel’s abandoned quarries, connecting these wastelands now awaiting a new function.
Isabel Lewis has conceived a series of workshops and occasions engaging the public through new modes of participation, inviting us to rethink notions of self and community. The work facilitates spaces for experimentation and play, where members of the public determine their own trajectories and level of engagement. The public workshops will take place on the Messeplatz in tandem with Recetas Urbanas’ building process, and continue through the week of the fair. What evolves from these workshops will form the foundation of a large-scale public choreography that highlights centuries-old, living traditions specific to Basel and generate encounters between historical practices and contemporary forms of bodily engagement.
‘Basilea’ is a Creative Time project commissioned by Art Basel and will be on display on Messeplatz from May 23 to June 17, 2018.
Basilea' Opening hours
May 23 – June 17, 2018, 10am to 8pm
‘Basilea’ is free and open to the public
About Lara Almarcegui
A champion of neglected and forgotten sites, Lara Almarcegui’s work carefully catalogues and highlights a particular location's tendency towards entropy. Working at a time of widespread urban renewal in Europe, Almarcegui reflects upon the continent’s built histories and extractive relationship with the land, and has even worked towards these sites’ legal protection. As Spain’s representative to the 55th Venice Biennial, she filled the interior of the pavilion with massive piles of building rubble similar to those used during its construction. Almarcegui has exhibited internationally, including at the Barbican Centre, London (2009); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2015); Athens Biennale (2009); Gwangju Biennale (2008); Sharjah Biennial (2007); São Paulo Biennial (2006); Seville Biennial (2006); Liverpool Biennial (2004); La Biennale de Lyon (2017); Manifesta IX, Genk (2012); and TRACK, Gent (2012). Almarcegui lives and works in Rotterdam, Netherlands and is represented by mor charpentier in Paris, Ellen de Bruijne Projects in Amsterdam and Parra & Romero in Madrid and Ibiza.
About Isabel Lewis
Trained in literary criticism, dance and philosophy, Isabelle Lewis’ work takes on many different formats: from lecture-performances and workshops to music sessions, parties, installations and what she calls ‘hosted occasions’. She has created works around topics such as open source technology and dance improvisation, social dances as cultural storage systems, collaborative creative formats, future bodily techniques and rapping as embodied speech acts. Her work has been presented at Tate Modern London (2017); Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève (2014); Ming Contemporary Art Museum Shanghai (2016 – 2017); Liverpool Biennial (2014); Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (2015); Frieze London (2014); Tanz Im August Berlin (2015); Kunsthalle Basel (2014); Serpentine Galleries (2012); Dia Art Foundation, New York (2016); and Palais de Tokyo Paris (2016). Lewis is currently based in Berlin and was born in the Dominican Republic and raised on a man-made island off the coast of southwest Florida.
About Recetas Urbanas
Recetas Urbanas (Urban Recipes) is a design and advocacy collective of architects, lawyers and social workers founded by architect Santiago Cirugeda. The collective, known for self-built projects, relies on local participation to complete mobile structures made of locally sourced, second and third-hand materials. Activating different areas of urban reality, their projects are at the same time highly functional, legally provocative, and exploit the legalities surrounding the occupation of public space. Since its founding in 2003, Recetas Urbanas has worked with over 2,500 individuals internationally, of different social backgrounds, abilities and ages. The collective has undertaken projects around the world at cultural spaces including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Castellon de la Plana, Spain (2005); the Venice International Architecture Biennale (2016); Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art; and La Carpa, Seville (2010 – 2014). Recetas Urbanas is based in Seville, Spain.
About Creative Time
Creative Time, the New York-based public arts non-profit, is committed to working with artists on the dialogues, debates and dreams of our time. Creative Time presents the most innovative art in the public realm, providing new platforms to amplify artists’ voices, including the Creative Time Summit, an international conference convening at the intersection of art and social justice.
Since 1974, Creative Time has produced over 350 groundbreaking public art projects that ignite the imagination, explore ideas that shape society and engage millions of people around the globe. Since its inception, the non-profit organization has been at the forefront of socially engaged public art, seeking to convert the power of artists’ ideas into works that inspire and challenge the public. Creative Time projects stimulate dialogue on timely issues, and initiate a dynamic experience between artists, sites, and audiences. For further information, please visit creativetime.org.
About Art Basel
Founded in 1970 by gallerists from Basel, Art Basel today stages the world's premier art shows for Modern and contemporary art, sited in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition.
Art Basel’s engagement has expanded beyond art fairs through a number of new initiatives. In 2014, Art Basel launched its Crowdfunding Initiative which catalyzed much-needed support for outstanding non-commercial art projects worldwide and helped garner pledges in excess of USD 2 million in support of around 70 art projects from around the globe – from Bogota to Ho Chi Minh City, San José and Kabul. For Art Basel Cities, launched in 2016, Art Basel is working with selected partner cities to develop vibrant and content-driven programs specific to the individual city. Connecting them to the global art world through Art Basel's expertise and network, Art Basel Cities supports its partners to develop their unique cultural landscape. For further information, please visit artbasel.com.