PerformanceProcess - New Swiss Performance Now at Kunsthalle Basel

Event Dates: 
19 January, 2018 - 17:00 - 19 February, 2018 - 02:00

The breadth and diversity of Swiss performance art from 1960 to the present is being celebrated in Basel through an exceptional institutional collaboration between Museum Tinguely, Kaserne Basel, and Kunsthalle Basel in partnership with Centre culturel suisse Paris. Together these institutions illuminate performative practices in Switzerland - looking back, for instance, to when Jean Tinguely blew up the Basel Carnival Committee in a performative action in 1974, and looking forward, with new performances by established and emerging artists.

Spanning five months, from 20 September 2017 to 18 February 2018, this project has roots in the multidisciplinary exhibition and festival PerformanceProcess held in 2015 at the Centre culturel suisse in Paris. Building upon and expanding that effort, the Basel institutions join forces to examine this powerful medium, each from a distinct perspective.

Continuing its tradition of showcasing emerging artists, Kunsthalle Basel’s New Swiss Performance Now concentrates on a new generation of artists who use performance in their practice.

Bringing together both artists who regularly do performance art and visual artists who use the medium when it best expresses an idea, the show is conceived as a “live exhibition” in which no documentation, scripts, props, or other traces of performances will be exhibited. Instead, for one month, and within special opening hours, numerous performances and a vibrant program of ephemeral actions and events unfold on the upper floor of Kunsthalle Basel.

Presenting newly commissioned and recent pieces that range from the spectacular to the almost imperceptible, the selected artists draw on techniques from theater, dance, installation, or film to make their fleeting, situation-oriented actions. Expanding on the incredibly rich history of performance art in Switzerland - so well documented and presented by this exceptional multi-institutional collaboration - Kunsthalle Basel’s program emphasizes the form’s vitality in the new and the now.

The exhibition’s duration is framed by two of Basel’s liveliest cultural events: It begins on January 19, 2018, with the 18th edition of Basel Museums Night (with more than thirty-five participating museums and institutions), and it ends with a grand finale on the night of February 18, 2018 and carries into the wee hours of February 19, when all of Basel turns off its lights at 4 am for the Morgestraich, the ritual beginning of carnival, the city’s own “collective performance.”

Details on the programme are on this PDF.

When: 19 January - 19 February 2018

Where: Kunsthalle Basel, Steinenberg 7, 4051 Basel