Christoph Büchel

Kunsthalle Basel

Basel-born and -based Christoph Büchel is known as a master of incommodiousness. In his recent installation HOLE, 2005, he confronts us once more with a meticulously staged worst-case scenario. And once again, his vision gets closer to us than we wish. The title evokes a number of associations: from the ugly deep wound that came to be called Ground Zero to Saddam Hussein’s cavelike hideaway to black holes in the universe. Actually, the installation represents none of these, yet it suggests a great many similar things. The title might also refer to the narrow passages and claustrophobic rooms through which the artist forces us. Or, perhaps, a state of collective amnesia. In any case, the normally daylit hall of Basel’s Kunsthalle currently seems to have been sucked into a black hole: It’s basically gone. One doesn’t enter by way of the grand stairway but by means of a cramped elevator,

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