The 2022 edition of the Basel fair, of which UBS is proud Lead Partner, will once again offer a hybrid format for art lovers around the world to enjoy, bringing together almost 300 galleries and 4,000 artists for a celebration of contemporary art. Explore some of the thought-provoking projects and works on display which inspire us to think more sustainably.
The Parcours public art sector will showcase 20 site-specific sculptures, interventions and performances in and around Münsterplatz in the city centre, including a collaborative project, 'Frequencies', by the Colombian artist Oscar Murillo, carrying a message of community and inclusivity, on display at the UBS branch on Aeschenvorstadt, a 20-minute walk from the fair.
Other artists featured in Parcours who are focusing on environmental concerns include Muhannad Shono, Bosco Sodi, Anna Hulacova and Tomás Saraceno, whose work also features in the UBS Art Collection. His piece, 'Bodies of Water' is a sculpture inspired by the structure of foam or soap bubbles and the dialogue between the chemical threads encoded molecular structures to form a refuge for species such as birds, bees and spiders, as well as talking point by which humans can interact.
On display in the UBS Art Studio is a new sculpture by the Los Angeles-based artist Liz Larner, which was recently acquired by the UBS Art Collection. ‘hard bubble’ has been constructed entirely from plastic waste and zip ties. The somehow luminous sculpture aims to draw attention to the harm single-use plastics are causing to the environment and to remind us that less than 10 per cent of all the plastic made to date has ever been recycled.
In keeping with the theme of recycling, the public booth will also feature an interactive 3D printing project, which sees used carpets from the fair recycled into bird sculptures, named 'L’Oiseau' and designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra. Visitors to the fair can enter a lucky draw to win one of these special objects.
Messeplatz is the site of a participatory floor installation, 'Out of Sight', by the late Lawrence Weiner, a work modelled on a hopscotch grid that hopes to inspire positive thinking and creating a space for public gathering and reflection.
A commitment to recycled materials is also evident in Theaster Gates’s work. Another artist whose work features in the UBS Art Collection, he has made one of the 70 works that will be shown in the Unlimited sector of the fair. 'Hardware Store Painting' is a mural-scale installation that comprises a towering metal pegboard wall from which hang paintings evocative of works by Ellsworth Kelly and Leon Polk Smith that Gates has made using materials from a defunct hardware store located on the South Side of Chicago.
Also on display as part of Unlimited is Andrea Zittel’s 'A-Z Personal Uniforms, 2nd Decade: Fall/Winter 2003–Spring/Summer 2013'. An assemblage of 76 outfits designed and made by the artist, it is intended to function as a complete wardrobe that can be worn for an entire season, raising questions of its sustainability given the environmental waste and careless consumerism it promotes.
The Conversations program also includes several thought-provoking panel discussions, including 'Going Neutral? Institutions and Climate Change', which will see directors from some of the world’s leading museums explore the options available to them to address the urgency of climate change. Another will see Gallery Directors discuss how they have been collaborating to support new talent, and address urgent questions on representation and climate change.
These events and more will be made available online through Art Basel Live, alongside Online Viewing Rooms featuring highlight displays from the galleries at the in-person fair and behind-the-scenes insights in real-time.