- Coinciding with the 2022 edition of Art Basel, the city of Basel will be welcoming 11 large scale photographic works by Ukrainian artist Boris Mikhailov, displayed prominently across the facades and entrances of cultural institutions in Basel, including a 6×9 meter print on the side façade of Hall 5 on Messeplatz
- In addition, Art Basel today announces a cash donation of 110,000 CHF split evenly across three humanitarian aid organisations in support of victims of the war on Ukraine: The Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund, EAST SOS and Artists at Risk
- Art Basel is also supporting the upcoming performance of Russian punk collective Pussy Riot which will take place at Basel’s Kaserne, on June 14, to coincide with the opening day of the Basel show
Art Basel is collaborating with the City of Basel, leading cultural institutions in the city and the PinchukArtCentre on a public art project featuring Ukrainian artist Boris Mikhailov’s latest photographic series, ‘Temptation of Death’. 11 diptychs will be displayed prominently in billboards across the facades and entrances of the city’s cultural institutions and the City Hall. A 6×9 meter photographic print will be installed on the side façade of Hall 5 on Messeplatz throughout the duration of the show. In addition, Art Basel today announces a cash donation of 110,000 CHF split evenly across three humanitarian aid organisations: The Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund, the charitable foundation East SOS and to the art platform Artists at Risk. Art Basel is also supporting the upcoming performance of Russian punk collective Pussy Riot on June 14 at the Kaserne Basel. Presenting a mixture of music concert, political rally and theatrical performance, the feminist art performance group will tell a story of resistance, repression and revolution in support of Ukraine.
Born in 1938, Boris Mikhailov grew up in Soviet Ukraine. His early work moved along the edges of the political and social norms testing the limits of what can be described as forbidden images in Soviet times. He witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rebirth of an independent Ukraine. Throughout his life, Mikhailov has dedicated himself to tracing the historical developments and their consequences. At his core, Mikhailov is a critical storyteller, allowing for an expanded and complex understanding of reality.
‘Temptation of Death’ consists of more than 150 pairings of images, in which the artist combines his distinct autobiographical voice with a bleak social premonition. Ploughing through his archive of performative photography and traces of remnants of the Soviet Union, he creates a series of visual poems, staring his own life – and the death of the Soviet Union – in the eye. With his extensive photographic series Mikhailov, a flâneur in the sense of Walter Benjamin, a poet and ragpicker, has captured memories of a time gone by. This is all the more relevant today when Putin’s war against Ukraine is also destroying the Soviet legacy as a part of the physical reality and psychological identity of Ukraine. Curated by Björn Geldhof, Artistic Director at the PinchukArtCentre, ‘Temptation of Death’ thus becomes a swan song to a bygone era.
The city-wide public art project will be presented alongside a film program curated by Ksenia Malykh, Head of Research Platform PinchukArtCentre. Screened daily at Theater Basel, the program features work by Oleksandr Roitburd, a participant in the Ukrainian New Wave movement, as well as films by a younger generation of Ukrainian artists creating a fragmented portrait of Ukraine today.
Pussy Riot’s performance ‘Riot Days’ in support of Ukraine will take place on June 14 at Basel’s Kaserne. One of the most important critical voices of the current regime in Russia, the group’s message has become particularly relevant in recent weeks due to the war and aggression against Ukraine and increasing social conformity. Pussy Riot will collect donations for ‘Ohmatdyt’, the largest children’s hospital in Ukraine, through the solidarity ticket of the concert.
The public art project is a collaboration between PinchukArtCentre; Canton of Basel-Stadt; Art Basel; Fondation Beyeler; Theater Basel; Kunstmuseum Basel; Kunsthalle Basel; Kaserne Basel; Kunsthaus Baselland; Haus der Elektronischen Künste; Liste; and I Never Read, Art Book Fair Basel.