Art 41 Basel
Founded by a group of local gallerists, the first Art Basel took place in 1970 and the event has long ranked as the most prestigious art show worldwide. The show regularly attracts some 60,000 artists, collectors, gallerists, museum directors, curators, and art enthusiasts, all drawn by both the quality and diversity of the artworks exhibited. Art 41 Basel showcase every form of artistic expression, including paintings, drawings, editions, sculptures, installations, photography, performances, and video art. Inexpensive works by emerging artists are on display alongside museum-quality masterpieces priced in the millions.
The first Off Press presentation focuses on publishers and structures that literally or conceptually re-appropriate their means of production, i.e. acquiring small press facilities or devices, developing programs using new and old technological possibilities and defining a new zeitgeist in contemporary publishing. These presses are often small, artist or designer-run, and marked by a new take on the DIY aesthetics.
The 2010 special show highlights Artists’ fanzines. Cheap (and frequently photocopied) publications, fanzines derive their origins from a special connection that a group of readers has with a topic, a personality, or a cultural event. With the help of this vehicle, numerous artists have quickly issued their own publications, following the example of a Raymond Pettibon in the California punk scene. But the format is now undergoing a distinctive development, even for art publications. Its committed approach, connection with a ‘do-it-yourself’ aesthetic, uncomplicated production, and distribution via specialist networks partly explain the fanzine’s success with a new audience in the first decade of the 21st century.
Bringing together various ‘historical’ examples and experiments by the latest publishers, the exhibition also offers a new source for numerous hard-to-find works little concerned with classic distribution. The exhibition, organized by Zurich-based curator and publisher Lionel Bovier, working in collaboration with AA Bronson (Printed Matter), offers the public access to a limited supply of printed matter (historical or contemporary) provided
by the publishers or the artists, thereby encouraging fresh dissemination of these projects within the exhibition setting.