BASEL.- This year’s Art Basel Conversations promise a varied program, featuring respected members of the international artworld discussing the development of new cultural institutions in Eastern Europe, the collection and preservation of new-media art, and galleries working at the edge of a globalized art market. The forum premieres with a conversation between artists Lawrence Weiner and Jorge Pardo.
Fostering direct encounters with leading members of the international artworld, Art Basel Conversations offer privileged access to first-hand information on subjects relating to the exhibition and collection of art. Art Basel Conversations are a forum encouraging the exchange of ideas by means of panel discussions and personal contact with the panelists and other guests. The participants include well-known artists, collectors, gallerists, and museum directors. Presenting their current and forthcoming projects and reflecting on their experiences and the challenges they face, they provide an inside perspective on the art scene.
Art Basel Conversations are staged daily (Wednesday, June 4 through Saturday, June 7) from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Art Unlimited hall (entrance at Isteinerstrasse, Gate/Tor 2). Between 11 and 11:30 a.m., visitors have the opportunity to meet the panelists personally. The events are public. Admission is free. Every visitor receives a complimentary copy of the Art Basel Conversations book.
The premiere of Art Basel Conversations (Wednesday, June 4) presents two artists in conversation: Lawrence Weiner (New York), a key exponent of the conceptual art movement initiated in the 1960s, was recently the subject of a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; Cuban-American artist Jorge Pardo (Los Angeles) has had many exhibitions, among them his solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art (North Miami) during Art Basel Miami Beach last December.
}Addressing «Forming Cultural Institutions in Eastern Europe», Joanna Mytkowska (Director of the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw), Magda Kardasz (Curator of the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw), Zdenka Badovinac (Director of the Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana), and Vit Havranek (tranzit.cz, Prague) will assemble on Thursday, June 5, to discuss the following questions: What role do art institutions play in Eastern Europe and how has that role changed over the past 20 years? How does globalization affect local art scenes? How do auction houses, galleries, foundations, and private collectors influence institutional programs? What do such art institutions do to generate larger audiences? The moderator is Hans Ulrich Obrist (Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, London).
On Friday, June 6, attention turns to the subject of «Collecting, Protecting, and Projecting New Media Art». What role do new media play in a museum collection? What criteria are applied in assembling a collection of this kind? What does it mean to a museum to maintain a collection containing new media pieces? How can these pieces be preserved over time? These are among the questions that will be discussed by Pamela Kramlich (Kramlich Collection, San Francisco), Christoph Blase (Head of the Laboratory for Antiquated Video Systems of the Center for Art and Media, ZKM, Karlsruhe), Pip Laurenson (conservator, Head of Time-Based Media Conservation, Tate, London), and Stuart Comer (Film and Video Curator, Tate, London). The moderator is Chrissie Iles (Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York). This panel discussion is supported by ZURICH Insurance Company.
On Saturday the Gallery Agenda discussion is devoted to galleries «Working from the Edge of the Global Art Market» and features gallerists Orly Benzacar (Ruth Benzacar Galeria de Arte, Buenos Aires), Pi Li (Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing), John McCormack (Starkwhite Auckland, Auckland), and Gregor Podnar (Galerija Gregor Podnar, Ljubljana/Berlin). The questions they will be considering include: What are the challenges faced by a gallery working in a remote location? How does such a gallery keep up with the international art world? Might it even be an advantage today to be working in an «exotic» country? The panel is moderated by Phil Tinari, founder of Beijing’s editorial studio Office for Discourse Engineering.