• Luke Willis Thompson

    Kunsthalle Basel
    Steinenberg 7
    June 8 - August 19

    Curated by Elena Filipovic

    Luke Willis Thompson’s work makes for uncomfortable viewing. Always spare and elegant in presentation, his unsettling installations, performances, and films unflinchingly scrutinize power relations, race, and representation. For Kunsthalle Basel, Thompson is producing a new single-screen 35-mm film projection, which will occupy the entire upper floor. This will be the third film in a trilogy of sorts exploring subjecthood, appropriation, trauma, mortality, and care; the first two, produced in 2016 and  2017, respectively, feature portraits of individuals whose lives have been affected by incidents of police brutality. In this new production, Thompson will suture his own biography to that of the British artist Donald G. Rodney—who died in 1998 at the age of thirty-seven from sickle-cell anemia—to address genetic inheritance, racial division, the body, and pain.

  • Bruce Nauman, Sex and Death by Murder and Suicide, 1985, neon tubing mounted on aluminum, 78 × 78 3/8 × 12 5/8". © Bruce Nauman/ProLitteris, Zurich.

    “Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts”

    Ruchfeldstrasse 19
    March 17 - August 26

    Curated by Kathy Halbreich with Heidi Naef, Isabel Friedli, Magnus Schaefer, Taylor Walsh

    Twenty-five years have passed since the last Nauman retrospective traversed the Western world like a rock icon on a months-long tour. This time around, the two organizing hosts—the Schaulager in Basel and the Museum of Modern Art in New York—will give a new generation the chance to see more than a half century of overwhelmingly influential work in nearly every conceivable medium. Former MoMA associate director Kathy Halbreich, who co-organized the 1993–95 caravan, leads the curatorial team in the 2018 effort, while the ambitious catalogue features contributions by no fewer than eighteen authors. In her introduction, Halbreich reports how a persistent theme of disappearance recently came to her as a way of synthesizing an oeuvre so formally, technically, and thematically disparate. A device by no means unknown to such California contemporaries as Bas Jan Ader, Chris Burden, and Allen Ruppersberg, the play of presence and absence should provide viewers, both new and veteran, with a welcome key to Nauman’s work, its consistency disguised within a brilliant accumulation of difference. Travels to MoMA and MoMA PS1, New York, October 2018–March 2019.