Rachel Whiteread speaks to Ann Gallagher, former director of Tate’s collection of British art and editor of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist’s sculpture, about key moments in her career and what drives her work today.
Rachel Whiteread, artist, London
Ann Gallagher, independent curator and writer, London
Introduction by Marc Spiegler, Global Director, Art Basel
The question of the reappraisal and reinvention of museums has never been more relevant. Long-debated subjects such as broadening the canon, decolonisation, diversifying the collection and the representation of minorities have in recent years been joined by the big questions of our time: the impact of new technology and digitisation, the need for greater inclusivity, dealing with funding uncertainties and responding to calls for greater restitution efforts. The year of 2020 has been pivotal - Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement not only crystallized the need to address these questions more urgently, but have left museum directors faced with fresh challenges and in uncharted territory. How will they address the more immediate pressures and what is their vision for the future? Are they adequately equipped to respond and adapt to a changing landscape, and are they ready to grasp unique opportunities to create a new kind of institution? In partnership with E.A.T./Engadin Art Talks.
Maria Balshaw, Director, Tate, London
Chris Dercon, President, Réunion des musées nationaux-Grand Palais, Paris
Susanne Pfeffer, Director, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt
Storm Janse van Rensburg, Senior Curator and Head of Curatorial Affairs, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town
Moderator: Jane Morris, Editor-at-large, The Art Newspaper and Cultureshock, London
Ingvild Goetz and Michael Ringier
This panel brought together two of the most established collectors in Europe with a wealth of experience in different facets of the art world, and takes a deep dive into their evolution as collectors. How did their passion for collecting start? What has motivated some of their key choices? And what do they make of contemporary art today?
Ingvild Goetz, Founder, Sammlung Goetz, Munich
Michael Ringier, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ringier AG, Zürich
Moderator: Elke Buhr, Monopol Magazin
Daniel Buren and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Conceived by Hans Ulrich Obrist, this series brings together artists with individuals who have significantly influenced their artistic practice. For this edition, internationally acclaimed French artist Daniel Buren, discussed his work and his creative collaboration with Philippe Parreno through questions moderated by Hans-Ulrich Obrist.
Daniel Buren, artist, Paris
Moderator: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, London
Galleries Adapt to a Changing Landscape
This panel explored some of the main findings of a new report by Dr. Clare McAndrew focusing on how galleries are adapting in today's changing landscape.
Dr. Clare McAndrew, Founder, Arts Economics
Sophie Perceval, Co-Founder, Wondeur AI
Jasmin Tsou, Founder, JTT, New York
Moderator: Dr. Jeni Fulton, Executive Editor, Art Basel
Wu Tsang, Tosh Basco and Joshua Wicke
This panel coincided with Wu Tsang's three-year residency as director at Zurich's Schauspielhaus. A frequent collaborator with Tosh Basco, this conversation will consider performing practices within and outside of the theatre.
Wu Tsang, artist, Zürich
Tosh Basco, artist, Zürich
Joshua Wicke, dramaturg, Schauspielhaus Zürich
Moderator: Aaron Cezar, Founding Director, Delfina Foundation
When the Story Goes Dark, We Find New Ways to Tell the Story
The images associated with climate catastrophe, ecological collapse and pandemic aftermath have become a beacon that informs the way in which we move through the world. They have also become a relevant topic of investigation for artists, as we move away from anthropocentric concerns, and address worlds that go beyond the human. Conversations with anthropologists and philosophers of science inform recent cultural production in new and productive ways. What happens when these ecological concerns turn into subject matter for artistic and cultural practices, as has been increasingly the case over the last decade? How does this cultural production move, who gets to see it, who benefits from it? Does this generate visibility and engagement for the concerns that it claims to represent, or do we run a risk of it becoming part of greenwashing, and another trend that will eventually fade away?
Fernando García-Dory, artist, Madrid Antje Majewski, artist, Berlin Elizabeth Povinelli, Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies, Columbia University, New York, and Karrabing Film Collective member
Moderator: Margarida Mendes, curator, Lisbon
Science Fiction and Contemporary Art
Many artists and writers have dedicated their work to describing the future, and the worlds that can be. But since they are placed in time, these descriptions always come with an expiration date: The narrative of Blade Runner, the enormously influential science fiction classic, takes place in November 2019. As with other classic Sci-Fi works - 2001: a Space Odyssey, 12 Monkeys, Back to the Future, The Astronauts (to name a few) - the futures that they describe are already in the past. The opening decades of the 21st Century seemed to be a limiting point for the imagination. Now that we have hit a reset point and the future is ripe for rewriting, how are contemporary artists working with this subject matter?
Sophia Al-Maria, artist, London
Rasheedah Phillips, artist, Black Quantum Futurism, Philadelphia
Moderator: Mónica Bello, Head of Arts, CERN
Imagining Just Worlds
During the past year of confinement and interactions that have taken place primarily via a screen, perhaps the only instances of assembly in the public space that we got to experience were all related to justice; a big blanket word to contain issues related to race, colonial practices, inequality, migration, restitution, and climate catastrophe. Public monuments have been questioned, as many of them were representations of the very things that people were mobilizing against. Thinking about public art, what should be its function going forward? What are the narratives that need to be represented in public space?
Ahmet Öğüt, artist, Amsterdam and Berlin
Julieta Aranda, artist, Berlin and New York
Moderator: Defne Ayas, curator, Berlin
Mariam Ghani, artist, New York also joined the panel but does not appear on the recording.
Pilvi Takala and Vanessa Carlos
This panel offers a frank and informal conversation about the unique and fundamental relationship between the artist and gallerist. Artist Pilvi Takala speaks with Vanessa Carlos about how they met, how they came to work together, and if and how their working relationship has changed over time. What is the significance of this relationship and how does it differ from others? What have they learned from each other and what are their plans for the future?
Pilvi Takala, artist, Helsinki and Berlin
Vanessa Carlos, Director, Carlos/Ishikawa, London
Moderator: Christina Li, curator and writer, Hong Kong and Amsterdam
Beyond the Hype
After the rush to drop NFTs, this panel considers how artists are using the possibilities of blockchain technology to consider decentralised spaces for distributing and selling works.
Holly Herndon, artist, Berlin Maria Paula Fernandez, Co-founder at JPG, Berlin Dan DeNorch, Founder, Folia, Berlin
Moderator: Simon Denny, artist, Berlin
In 2021 Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) would have turned 100. Considered one of the most influential, and at times controversial, artists of the late 20th century, Beuys built a strong relationship with Basel and the Art Basel fair from the moment he came to town in 1969. He aimed to make art that was not only accessible beyond the walls of the museum, but that actively influenced society, politics and environmental politics. Beuys tackled topics that are still relevant today: the relationship between humans and their natural and social environment, the vulnerability of ecosystems, and the responsibility of each individual towards nature and society.
This panel draws from the knowledge of experts on Beuys’ life and work. What is his legacy as a visual artist? What is his special connection to Basel? And how does his vision continue to resonate today?
In collaboration with Kunstmuseum Basel.
Catherine Nichols, curator and Artistic Director of "Beuys 2021" Philip Ursprung, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, ETH Zürich, author of Joseph Beuys: Kunst, Kapital, Revolution (2021)
Moderator: Maja Wismer, Head of Contemporary Art, Kunstmuseum Basel