Episode 146: Art Basel

June 15, 2008 · Print This Article

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Art Basel

A Bad at Sports Basel Art Fair Overdose!

The intro and outro are extra creepy this week. Highlights(?) include Duncan talking about some fantasy involving wearing tight short shorts and Teena McClelland!!! Tom Burtonwood interrupts the recording by shooting rubber bands. Chaos!

After Richard and Duncan are done making a mess of things, the real pros come in and present a fantastic report from Basel.

Lamis El Farra, emerging artist, and the EuroShark Mark Staff Brandl, seemingly perennially emerging black sheep artist, traverse and discuss the entirety of the King of Art Fairs, Art Basel. Yes: the Fair Itself, Art Statements, Art Unlimited, Scope, and the Solo Project. They only missed Liste and Print Basel. Sorry, but all the rest was already enough. Of course they were at the VIP opening (ahem) and managed to talk to more people than you can shake a stick at: artists, gallerists, museum directors, curators, critics, art magazine editors, fair organizers, all the hangers-on, …er…, important elements of the international artworld.

Gerhard Mack
Herzog and de Meuron
Schaulager Basel
Andrea Zittel and Monika Sosnowska
Vitra Design Museum
Rem Koolhaas
Basel Art Statements
Basel Art Unlimited
Marc Spiegler
Thomas Hirschhorn
Roland Waespe
Kunstmuseum St. Gallen
Udo Kittelman
The Rolf Ricke Collection
Dave Muller
Three Day Weekend
Florian Berktold
Hauser and Wirth
Mary Heilmann
Subodha Gupta
Dan Graham
Pippilotti Rist
Christoph Buechel
Tony Wuetrich
Hanspeter Hofmann
Leiko Ikemura
Leonard Bullock
Florian Suessmayr
Leipziger Schule
Neo Rauch
Boers-Li Gallery
Qiu Xiaofei
Alex Meszmer / Reto Mueller (Zeitgarten)
Elizabeth C. Baker
Art in America
Chaim Soutine
Museum fuer Gegenwartskunst Basel
Kunsthaus Zurich
Ferdinand Leger
Museum Tinguely
Gary Justis
Marcia Vetrocq
Glen O’Brien
Raphael Rubinstein
Interview magazine
The Magazine Antiques
Museum der bildenden Kuenste Leipzig
Gunther Sachs
Berlin Biennale
Faye Hirsch
Ellsworth Kelly
David Zwirner Gallery
Greg Kwiatek
Paul Bloodgood
Galerie Karin Sutter
Beyeler Gallery
Next Fair
David Reed
Erik Colan
Wesley Kimler
Scope Art Fair
Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Loreen Hospodar
Kelly Chen
Art Chicago
Petroc Sesti
Robert Standish
Römerapotheke Galerie Zurisch
Philippe Rey
Filiale Galerie Berlin
Vera Ida Mueller
Solo Project
Stephanie Sherga
Hans Gieles
Vous Etes Ici Gallery Amsterdam
Martijn Schuppers
Olivier Houg Galerie Lyon
Mathias Schmied
Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_146-Art_Basel.mp3

23 thoughts on “Episode 146: Art Basel”

  1. Christopher says:

    Tom and Jerry Can Can music, references towards “You Can’t Do That on Television” the greatest export from Canada since Duncan, Moose & Squirel. You’re hitting all the high water marks of my youth minus just the Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon. Get on that 🙂

    Also Happy Fathers day to all the fathers out there.

  2. Richard says:

    Didn’t they just release the box set of the D&D cartoon, including a cast read through of the never filmed final episode?

  3. Man, do I LOVE that intro music! Thanks Richard.
    Those are some weird fantasies Duncan. Don’t talk to your therapist about them!
    I like the intro. Lamis El Farra. Buy with your eyes and not your ears.

  4. The silly cartoon images of us, by the way, are a combination of my and Steve Hamann’s work, altered (thanks Steve!). The sharks are based on plays on the “podcasters” two names: “Brandl” is the old German diminuitivized form of “conflagration” — so something like “Little Big Fire”, since English no longer has a diminutive — and “El Farra” is Arabic for “rat” or “mouse.” And Lamis has curly black hair and I have spiky blond hair turning grey.

  5. duncan. says:

    The recently made a dragonlance cartoon with Kiefer Sutherland. And I re-read all three books just the… actually maybe I should keep this to myself.

  6. Amanda Browdowski says:

    Duncan darlin, we already know you are a cartoon dweeb. it’s ok to accept it and push up your nerd glasses.

  7. Anna B says:

    But besides silly cartoon comments, the Basle report was good, as were the fairs. Marc Spiegler did a good job on the main one and I enjoyed the Solo Volta much like Mark and Lamis did..

  8. Steve Hamann says:


    I want more silly cartoon comments.

    Like, why the heck did Dungeon Master give that club to the little kid and the shield to the older kid? And why no swords? They could have made mince meat out of the Beholder.

  9. Marc did do very well. Very very well organized show. After I argued about him with Tony at Sharkforum, and after meeting him, I researched articles by him and so on — and Tony was right he is verey interesting and dedicated guy. We were lucky we had even two minutes with him. He was so inundated by press that he had his own “guards” who were literally fending off hoards. So I take it all back Tony!

  10. Jack J says:

    I found the part with Baker (art in america) way too short and choppy. Did you cut a lot out or screw up the recording?

  11. Yes. Mostly the former.

    Are the name drops going up soon?

  12. Christopher says:

    Blame the Chicago Metra Mark which made a 1 hour commute into two hours due to “switching problems”. I also take full blame for not keeping the conversation on the wonderful fair in Basel and instead on cartoons…….

  13. I am sending out my own “update” email soon to the folks we talked to or about in the show and I wanted their names here before I did so!

  14. Jack J says:

    AP says:

    Basel art fair wraps up after some major sales
    Art Basel, the largest international fair of contemporary art, wound up Sunday after registering some major sales but with a suggestion that the overall market may be slowing in reaction to the world’s financial turmoil.

    The show management’s final report said the results were “outstanding” and that all participants “considered it a very good year,” but it gave no overall sales figures.

    Headlines were chiefly made by Roman Abramovich, the Russian multibillionaire and owner of Chelsea soccer club, who topped the list of collectors present. Abramovich appeared to have stayed below his spending spree last month in New York, where he paid $120 million at Sotheby’s record-breaking auction, including $86 million for the top lot, a Francis Bacon triptych. In Basel, he bought one of Alberto Giacometti’s elongated woman sculptures for $14 million, according to The Art Newspaper’s special Basel edition. The sale of a Lucian Freud, “Girl in Attic Doorway,” for $12 million to an undisclosed buyer was also confirmed.

    The organizers said their surveys showed that “all the exhibiting galleries were able to find buyers for their works.” The 300 participating galleries offered works by more than 2,000 artists, priced between a few thousand and millions of dollars.

    Despite the positive report of the organizers, the weekend edition of The Art Newspaper headlined, “Market keeps moving, but the brakes start to go on.” “A frazzled economy and boom-market pricing transformed souls of last year’s buyers into browsers,” it said. “Much of the slow-up was blamed on Americans who opted to stay home.”

    Management said that 75-80 percent of the sales went to Europe and that there had been a “marked increase in collectors and curators of the Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern and Russian art scenes.” Organizers counted some 60,000 visitors to the show.

  15. Jeez, every article talks about Roman Abramovich and Brad Pitt. How about art?

  16. Anna says:

    I liked the fact that the podcast faded in and out, from one person and location to another. It really gave the impression that one gets at an art fair. The mix of types of guests was good too. Museum director, critics, art fair organizer, dealers, artists, and all from different countries.

  17. Richard says:

    I find actually that Mark’s piece was EXACTLY how I feel at art fairs, fading in an out and talking to lots of different people. And like Mark’s recording gear, sometimes I fail to record at all.

  18. Anna B says:

    Bullock and Schmied were interesting too, proving there are perhaps a few artists in such a private opening.

  19. Hey Balzac and the “regulars,” where are you? What did you think?

  20. Lamis says:

    Thanks, Mark, for your technical handiwork and thanks BaS for getting my name right. Much obliged.
    I went back to Basel on my own a few days after going with Mark and it was almost a different fair since we’d spent most of our time on the first day chatting to various and sundry people. Did pay attention to sculpture/3D this time and there was actually not just a little bit. For example, we completely missed Carsten Höller’s full-scale children’s slo-mo carousel on the first floor. Just shows that you’d have to spend all five days there to walk, shuffle or crawl through the entire maze, let alone „see“ everything.
    I also ventured out to Volta4 (only 68 galleries!) which showcased more multi-media than Basel or Scope. Christoph Draeger’s doubly psychotic „Schitzoredux“ video of Psycho ’60 (Hitchcock) and Psycho ’98 (Gus Van Sant) superimposed and playing simultaneously on a small screen. Watching Janet Leigh and Anne Heche make their ill-fated getaways to the Bates Motel got me thinking of all the other original and remakes that could mesh: Scarface, Cape Fear, Seven Samurai/the Magnificient Seven. Or maybe project the boxing sequences from all of the Rocky sequels all at the same time. Yikes.

  21. Helene says:

    I had the privilege of attending Art Basel 39 and I can honestly say I was overwhelmed. While I’ve spent a considerable amount of time at New York’s MoMA and London’s Tate Modern (most of it spent daydreaming of how my favorite pieces would look in my humble abode), I don’t think the average museum experience prepares you for the sheer magnitude of an event like Art Basel. The fair is dedicated to contemporary art in all its forms – paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works.

    While I understand that some reviewers were critical of the quality of the art on display, most notably the New York Times, I can’t say I noticed. Since I’m neither a museum curator, a Russian oligarch or the ruler of a small oil-rich nation, I personally saw enough stunning works to more than satisfy my yearning.

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