Ján Mančuška

Kunsthalle Basel

Ján Mančuška’s recent exhibition, “Only those wild species that appeal to people will survive,” was an unswerving assault on the linearity of audiovisual perception and spatial movement, in which a formally conceptual approach was intertwined with intimate experience. The exhibition opened with a single frame—an oversize painting of one blank frame from a film strip, almost playfully reversing Malevich’s Black Square, 1915. The single frame became the leitmotif of the show, defining not only its content but its architecture. The rectangular format repeatedly appeared diagonal to the L-shaped ground floor of the Kunsthalle: as black boxes for viewing videos; as light boxes; and as partial copies of the original wood-paneled floor, produced in the Czech artist’s home country and raised a foot off the ground to become a kind of stage for viewers at various points in the show.

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