basel

Joseph Beuys/Enzo/Cucchi/Anselm Kiefer/Jannis Kounellis

Kunsthalle Basel

The prelude to this exhibition was a large, long table with chairs that invited one to sit down and peruse a copy of the book on display. The table was the one from the Kunsthalle’s library around which these four artists met last year for extended discussions with Jean-Christophe Ammann, director of the Kunsthalle and organizer of this exhibit. The book, Ein Gespräch/Una Discussione (A discussion), contained the transcript of these talks. This “reading room,” an explicit component of the exhibition, informed us of the conceptual basis of the collaborative project, namely “discussion,” which was originally meant to be developed into a “dialogue” among artworks with the idea of constructing, as Kounellis terms it, a new “cathedral,” a unified position from which to view art. This dialogue did not take place; indeed, under the circumstances, it could not. Beuys’ death in January, during a

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