basel

Simon Starling

Kunstmuseum Basel, Museum für Gegenwartskunst

The Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel is sited directly on the Rhine. Upriver, Simon Starling took apart a wooden shed used by boatmen and reassembled all its pieces again as a Weidling, a kind of skiff traditional to the locality. After its maiden voyage downriver, it was again reduced to boards, taken into the museum, and rebuilt as the original wooden shed, carefully edged and placed diagonal to the museum’s architecture. Whether Shedboatshed (Mobile Architecture No. 2), 2005, would once more take to the river as a barge after the exhibition, continuing the ecological cycle, was a question left to the imagination.

With this performative sculptural act, Starling set an otherwise static architectural environment into motion and played with the very idea of the exhibition object, even while preserving its mass and materials. The research and artisanship needed to effect this transformation

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