Art Basel 2016 Announces Premier Film Program

Art Basel has announced their 2016 Film programme. It will be presenting a premier selection of film and video work, selected for the second year by the Cairo-based film curator and lecturer Maxa Zoller. Drawn from the show’s participating galleries, highlights of this year’s program include an exclusive preview of Pierre Bismuth’s film ‘Where is Rocky ll?’ and ‘History’s Future’, the first feature-length fiction film by Fiona Tan. The Film program will also feature ‘Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania’ by Jonas Mekas, one of the pioneers of post-war experimental filmmaking, and ‘Burden’, a documentary by Timothy Marrinan and Richard Dewey about Chris Burden’s life and work, selected by Marian Masone. Following last year’s collaboration with Art Basel, the Festival del film Locarno will present the Swiss premiere of ‘Continuity’, the most recent feature-length film by Omer Fast. The Film program will also include works by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Yuri Ancarani, Manon de Boer, Tim Davis, Edith Dekyndt, Simon Fujiwara, Beatrice Gibson, Sven Johne, Park Chan-kyong, Martha Rosler, Anri Sala, Cally Spooner and Superflex.

Art Basel’s Film program will open with an exclusive preview of French artist Pierre Bismuth’s ‘Where is Rocky ll?’ (2016). The story behind the film lies in the artist’s search for an artificial rock left by Ed Ruscha in the Mojave Desert in the late 1970s, and explores how we project our fantasies. ‘Where is Rocky ll?’ is at once a documentary, a crime thriller and a work of art – and, ultimately, something else entirely. Bismuth’s film will be shown at 10.30pm on Monday, June 13, 2016.

‘History’s Future’ (2016) is Fiona Tan’s first feature-length fiction film, and introduces ‘MP’, a character who has been so severely beaten after a mugging that he has lost all his memories and has to rebuild his life. Tan’s film touches on several sensitive subjects of our time: violence, shock, loss of identity, being everything and everywhere at once, and yet nothing and nowhere. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Fiona Tan and Maxa Zoller. Tan’s film will be shown at 8.30pm on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

Jonas Mekas’ ‘Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania’ (1971/1972) is the documentation of the artist’s first visit back to his homeland since his attempt to flee the Nazis aged 22, and his emigration to New York in the 1940s. A pioneer of avant-garde cinema, Mekas will be present at the Art Basel screening, which will be followed by a Q&A with Maxa Zoller. Mekas’ film will be shown at 8pm on Thursday, June 16, 2016.

Timothy Marrinan and Richard Dewey’s documentary film ‘Burden’ (2016) is a revealing portrait of Chris Burden, which draws upon unprecedented access to the artist’s archive, and features candid footage filmed in the final years of his life. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Timothy Marrinan, Richard Dewey and Marian Masone. Marrinan and Dewey’s film will be shown at 8pm on Saturday, June 18, 2016.

For its collaboration with Art Basel, the Festival del film Locarno will present the Swiss premier of Omer Fast’s ‘Continuity’ (2016). With the short version of the film having premiered at documenta 13, the long version follows a straightforward narrative of an emotional homecoming, which turns uncanny, as the two main protagonists repeatedly invite different young men into their home for a mysterious ritual. The screening will be

followed by a Q&A with Fast and Sergio Fant, programmer of the Festival del film Locarno. Omer Fast’s film will be screened at 8.30pm on Friday, June 17, 2016.

The first Short Film program on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 takes inspiration from Karl Valentin’s phrase ‘Kunst ist schön, macht aber viel Arbeit’ (‘Art is beautiful, but it takes a lot of work’), and will feature a selection of short films by contemporary artists inspired by the relationship between work and value, especially that of manual versus virtual work. Screening on the same day, the second Short Film program ‘Sound Spaces of Trauma’ will look at North Korea and Sarajevo as places of extreme trauma that are then sublimated by means of classical musical compositions. With their films, the three artists Park Chan-kyong, Anri Sala and Manon de Boer explore a new approach in coming to terms with the past. The Short Film program on Thursday, June 16, 2016 focuses on one of today’s most pressing issues: mass migration. However, instead of focusing on tragedy, these films use metaphors to approach the subject.

Screened at Stadtkino Basel, the Film program will run from Monday, June 13 to Saturday, June 18, 2016.

For the full gallery list for Film, please visit: Art Basel