Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator of ‘Public Art Fund’, is returning for his second year curating Art Basel’s Public sector. The curator will be working under the theme Fieldwork, with Miami Beach’s Collins Park being turned into an outdoor exhibition space with 26 large-scale and site-specific installations by leading and emerging artists from 13 countries. Produced in partnership with the Bass Museum of Art for the fourth consecutive year ‘Public’ will open on Wednesday, December 3rd, with a special evening program of live performances by Ryan Gander, Christian Falsnaes, Liz Glynn and Dawn Kasper, and Alix Pearlstein.
Focusing on the potential for public art to challenge artists and viewers, Nicholas Baume’s curatorial stance will centre on the idea of experimentation. In Collins Park, artists will try out their ideas and verify them ‘in the field’. ‘Public’ will include several site-specific works conceived especially for the exhibition by Ryan Gander, Sam Moyer and Jessica Stockholder. Some of the selected works will engage with the architecture of Collins’ Park, like Ugo Rondinone’s intervention on the Bass Museum façade or Alfredo Jaar’s on the park’s rotunda.
This year, the sector will extend beyond Collins Park to include a performance-installation by Gunilla Klingberg on the nearby beach, where an intricate geometric pattern will be imprinted into the sand every morning, gradually being erased over the course of the day.
Both Lynda Benglis and Tatiana Trouvé will be represented with works that re-conceive the classical fountain, while Nancy Rubins’ and Nuria Fuster’s works will give new meaning to found objects and scrap materials. Familiar images will shift scale and significance in sculptures by Yinka Shonibare MBE and Barthélémy Toguo, while perceptions of space and form will be challenged by Matthias Bitzer, Sarah Braman, Jeppe Hein and Jessica Jackson Hutchins.
Also on display will be one of Georg Baselitz’s rare bronzes; Ana Luiza Dias Batista’s scaled replica of a popular 1980’s Brazilian amusement park attraction; and Elmgreen & Dragset’s formal golden-bronze equestrian statue of a young boy riding a rocking horse, a scaled version of the artists’ Fourth Plinth commission in London’s Trafalgar Square.
Also on view will be nós sonhando [spacebodyship] (2014), a sculpture by Ernesto Neto that functions as a playful double hammock for two, giving visitors the opportunity to slow down and pause. Sam Ekwurtzel’s mole tunnels cast in aluminum and Jose Carlos Martinat’s cacophonous audio-mechanical installation will reflect on art history.
History and politics will come together in Faivovich & Goldberg’s 3.6-ton sculpture composed of 12 fragments that render the contour of the Chaco province of Argentina, as well as in Olaf Metzel’s sculpture revolving around recent American history. Meanwhile, Hank Willis Thomas and collaborators from the Cause Collective will invite visitors to record their own truth within a portable and inflatable Truth Booth in the shape of a giant cartoon speech bubble.
As in the past two years, a selection of artworks will remain installed in Collins Park until March 2015, and a series of live performances will be presented on ‘Public’s’ Opening Night on Wednesday, December 3.