Basel

Christian Jankowski

Kunstmuseum Basel, Museum für Gegenwartskunst

Right in the hall behind the museum’s entrance, where openings are usually held, stood a cardboard puppet theater painted in gestural blue strokes and placed behind two spotlights on a rickety tripod of bamboo poles. The curator’s opening remarks and an improvised dialogue with the artist, in the broad accents of the Baden region, were staged here as a kind of Punch and Judy routine. A videotape of the event ran on a monitor on a nearby tabletop on sawhorses, which also contained a book opened for visitor comments: “Of course, the world itself is a tautology. Still, most acts of self-referential art come across as boring and self-important. But not here. ‘Art is not dead, it just smells funny.’”

In this work, as in others, Christian Jankowski uses a popular medium to take on the discourses of the art world as if—à la Jean-François Lyotard—he had to explain postmodernism once more, this

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