Special Guest Programmes
Every year, Liste Art Fair Basel invites institutions, magazines, initiatives and artist projects to present special programmes within the context of the fair. This cutting-edge approach expands Liste's mission to highlight the latest developments in contemporary art. The special guests for Liste Art Fair Basel 2021 are the Paris-based artist duo Jacent; the Institut Kunst at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst FHNW in Basel with three of their graduates, Michael Etzensperger, Katrin Niedermeier and Jodok Wehrli; and Liste’s long-time guest, the Haus der Elektronischen Künste (HEK) in Basel.
Goswell Road is a non-profit artist-run space based in Paris, France, that was founded in 2016 by artist duo Ruiz Stephinson. For Liste Art Fair Basel 2021, Goswell Road is disrupting the fair experience with three strategically placed directional speakers, playing albums by three artists that blur the lines between art, activism, and music:
‘Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry’ (Planet Mu, 2020) by Speaker Music, aka DeForrest Brown, Jr., a rhythm analyst, media theorist and curator based in New York City. Brown’s album was released on Juneteenth 2020 as a sonic response to past and present events still unfolding. Packaged with a 60-page zine of collected writings by Black theorists and poets providing further context, ‘Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry’ channels the modernist Black tradition of rhythm and soul music as an intellectual site and sound of generational trauma, bursting through the frames of Western music and thought.
‘Love & Power’ (Muskel Records, 2019) by No Bra, aka Susanne Oberbeck, a New York City–based electronic musician, producer, performer and filmmaker.
Oberbeck’s album is a challenge to power hierarchies and binaries, imagining a future of relations outside traditional structures. ‘Love & Power’ muses on sadomasochism, cruising, the seemingly inextricable link between sex and money and populist politics, while fantasising about a utopian world. Goswell Road presented Oberbeck’s film and photographic works, alongside earlier No Bra lyrics, in 2018, in a duo show with Rckay, entitled “Body and Commodity”.
‘ÉPÉE’ (Cultural Workers and Le Turc Mécanique, 2018) by Jardin, aka Lény Bernay, a transdisciplinary French artist who lives and works between Brussels, Paris and Bordeaux.
Bernay defines his practice of contemporary music as a total artistic practice. ‘ÉPÉE’ – “sword” in English – was produced entirely by Bernay and is a testimony of the artist’s queer, social and humanist gaze over our urban, tech-infused and policed society. Bernay is also involved in urban agriculture, and soon to be a master composter, seeking to make his enthusiastic and combative statement and commitment even more visible: Yes Future.
This project is kindly supported by the Embassy of France to Switzerland, ambassador Frédéric Journès and his husband Hristo Mavrev.
HEK (House of Electronic Arts)
Located in Basel, HEK (House of Electronic Arts) is a museum dedicated to digital culture and new art forms of the information age. It has been a special guest of Liste Art Fair Basel for over 10 years and has become an important part of the fair with its annual showcases of new artistic developments in digital art. This year HEK is presenting the video installations ‘Breathing Patterns’ (2020) by Salomé Chatriot and ‘Mix, Match and Start From Scratch’ (2019) by Jessica-Maria Nassif.
In her work, Salomé Chatriot fuses technological imagery and body mechanics into uncanny yet erotically charged environments. With ‘Breathing Patterns’, Chatriot translates her breath into animated computer graphics. The video installation, presented on two screens, shows a 3D rendering of lungs and seashells’ spirals. The intertwining of these two elements creates a fictional landscape that is synced to the rhythm of the artist’s breath rate.
Jessica-Maria Nassif focuses on algorithmic governance technology, showing there might be ways to trick the listening intelligence. Inspired by the history of Tupperware parties, her performative installation ‘Mix, Match and Start From Scratch’ subverts their original, commercial purpose. The artist presents a variety of tricks intended to disrupt the speech recognition systems present in our smart devices, such as mobile phones and home assistants.
Both Chatriot and Nassif use a performative approach combined with technological tools to mirror a society in which the merging of digital and organic processes becomes all-pervading.
The artist duo Jacent (Jade Fourès-Varnier and Vincent de Hoÿm) create domestically inspired large-scale installations where visitors are welcomed as guests. The fusion between art and life has been at the heart of their pursuits since they began collaborating in 2014.
For Liste Art Fair Basel 2021, they are presenting “Salon Jacent”, both an art installation and a place of comfort and conviviality dedicated to meeting, exchange and discussion. With this “Salon de Conversation”, they are creating a new sculptural work which combines inventive expressiveness, aesthetic concerns and collective utility. The concept finds its roots in Jacent’s installation ‘Blue Fish Foyer’, created for the exhibition “La Psychologie des serrures” at CAN Centre d’art Neuchâtel.
In February 2014, Jacent founded Tonus, a Paris-based artist-run space which perpetuates this state of open-mindedness. More information about Jacent can be found here: www.jacent-varoym.fr
This project is supported by La Fondation des Artistes.
Hyperpresence – 25 Years of Liste
In 2020, Liste Art Fair Basel celebrated its 25th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the Joinery collaborated with the Institut Kunst at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst FHNW in Basel and invited three of their graduates to engage with Liste's image archive. Through their individual points of view and practices, the artists Michael Etzensperger, Katrin Niedermeier and Jodok Wehrli recontextualized the documentation of Liste’s history, creating new perspectives in three different video works.
Due to the cancellation of Liste Art Fair Basel in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the anniversary project will be shown at Liste Art Fair Basel 2021.
Michael Etzensperger – I think slogans oversimplify my views
To make his film "I think slogans oversimplify my views" Michael Etzensperger worked with photographs of artworks that contain writing from Liste’s image archive. Some images are heavily cropped so that the messages come into focus and additional context is excluded. Slogans and text fragments are then combined to form sentence-like structures, thereby creating new levels of meaning.
Reproduction and the medium of photography play a decisive role in the work of Michael Etzensperger (*1982, lives and works in Zurich and Berlin). Unusual visual perspectives are a central feature of his often-reworked photographs. Through extreme close-ups, tele-zooms and the use of light irradiation, his images often move away from realism and towards abstraction. Michael Etzensperger finds inspiration not only in (art) historical or ethnological images, but also in advertisements seen in urban spaces and his immediate surroundings.
Michael Etzensperger completed his Master of Fine Arts at the Institute of Art HGK FHNW in 2019. He has previously exhibited at Kunsthalle Winterthur (2019); Kunsthaus Baselland (2019); Last Tango, Zurich (2018); Rapperswil, Zurich (2016); and Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2015).
Katrin Niedermeier – virtual retrospection
Katrin Niedermeier’s video animation "virtual retrospection" is a virtual exhibition of the past 25 years of Liste, experienced by a curator freed from worldly restrictions such as space. The video showcases digitally reproduced artworks, photographic material and snapshots as well as various important events and happenings throughout the fair’s 25-year history. In a retrospective and creative manner, it inspects and reflects the tightly interwoven webs of an art fair like Liste, with its participating artists and their artworks, galleries, visitors and team, but as wellalso the location itself.
In her artistic practice Katrin Niedermeier often focuses on manmade spaces of desire – both fictional and real – and investigates how these are manifested in the form of "Arcadian" gardens, virtual landscapes and personal fantasies. Her work explores the ever-changing relationships between virtual and analogue spaces and, in its implementation and development, walks the line between these two areas. Digital formats – primarily animations – are often the starting points of her work, but these are then translated into installations, physical objects and paintings that enter into dialogue with each other. The virtual world as an entity with its own authority is questioned, and its potential and effectiveness in both analog and digital realms is explored.
Katrin Niedermeier (*1979, lives in Weil am Rhein and works in Basel and Weil am Rhein) completed her Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts at the Institute of Art HGK FHNW between 2014 and 2019. Her recent exhibitions and video screenings include: "Avatars, Doubles and Allegorical Landscapes", HeK, Basel (2019); "I and the Machine: Experiments with Digitality", Galerie für Gegenwartskunst, E-Werk Freiburg (2019–2020); “Videocity Basel—Kaliningrad”, Kaliningrad Museum of Fine Arts (2019); “The Current ll Convening #2: Phenomenal Ocean”, TBA21–Academy at Ocean Space, Venice (2019); "I-Hood", Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz (2019); "color your color", Ewha Media Art Presentation, Seoul (2019); in the Hidden Bar during Art Basel in Basel (2019); "Hyperconscience", Shadok, Strasbourg (2018); "transenvironmental exercises", Atelier Mondial, Basel (2018); and "Kurs", room 103, Basel (2018).
Jodok Wehrli – Arbeit, Arbeit, Arbeit
In his video "Arbeit, Arbeit, Arbeit" Jodok Wehrli takes a close look behind the scenes of Liste and pays tribute to work that is otherwise invisible. Through a rhythmic connection of archival images, he creates a flowing collage that juxtaposes various forms of work and places their values all on the same level.
His conceptual practice uses installation, sculptural and multimedia modes of representation to focus on logic and absurdity and their relationship to social reality.
Jodok Wehrli (*1994, lives and works in Basel) completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Institute of Art HGK FHNW in 2019. His recent exhibitions include: "Auswahl 19", Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau (2019); "Now This", Wurm, Basel (2019); "I-Hood", Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz (2019); "Büro für absolut Relevantes", Rathaus für Kultur, Lichtensteig (2018); "I Myself in ten years Now", Bolag, Basel (2018); and "Insite", Der Tank, Campus der Künste, Basel (2017).