Abstractions (Switzerland / Burundi), 2019

Basel 2019
Jan Mot
Print on fabric, dimensions variable
Münsterplatz Pierre Bismuth’s practice can be placed within the tradition of Conceptual and Appropriation art and encompasses a wide range of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, film, and text. His work reflects on the transformation of the cultural sphere into an economy of cultural tourism and entertainment. Bismuth’s new series titled ‘Abstractions’ is being shown at one of the oldest squares in Basel – the Münsterplatz. The project consists in the creation of new flag emblems, obtained by the superimposition of two existing national flags. The work is inspired by the present migratory movements towards Europe: One flag represents a migrant’s country of origin, the second a hypothetical European host country. Flags signal territories and nations – categories that still remain stable points of reference today. In this series, the creation of a symbol made out of merging two national flags establishes a sign for the phenomenon of mass migration, questioning current concepts of nationality.