Solo show Zhana Ivanova at Kunsthalle Basel

Zhana Ivanova, All the Players, 2013. Performance view, Rijksakademie open studios, Amsterdam, 2013. Photo: Gert-Jan van Rooij.

Kunsthalle Basel announces the start of a new program under its current, recently installed director, Elena Filipovic. Building on Kunsthalle Basel’s venerable history of thought-provoking exhibitions by some of the most promising artists working today, the new direction demonstrates a penchant for projects with intellectual and formal rigor and an experimental approach—inventive with respect not only to art making, but also to the form of the exhibition as such. The program will remain fervently international and committed to risk taking, featuring both emerging artists and exceptional older figures whose practices deserve greater visibility.

Inaugurating the program is a particularly unusual project that stretches the nature of exhibition making and announces that something new is being set in place at Kunsthalle Basel—and that much more, as yet unknown, is still to come:

Zhana Ivanova: Ongoing Retrospective (Chapter 1)
January 30–February 15
Opening: January 29, 7pm

The Bulgarian-born, Amsterdam-based performance artist Zhana Ivanova (b. 1977) will have her first institutional solo show at Kunsthalle Basel. The nature of her performances often involves revealing, on the one hand, the underlying codes, rules, and structures in society, and, on the other hand, a form of prediction or future tense; thus her exhibition proposes to operate a bit like her work, revealing something about the codes, rules, and structures of exhibition making and setting those into an indeterminate future. Called Ongoing Retrospective, it will reverse the typical nature of the retrospective—as something that comes at the end of an older artist’s career and looks back—since here we will start at the beginning of this young artist’s career and look forward. Her exhibition of performances will be staged over time instead of merely space, and in “chapters”, to be presented one at a time, spread over several years (as many as the current director is in place) and whenever it is decided that there is another important work that merits inclusion in her “retrospective.” Ongoing Retrospective (Chapter 1) will feature one recent performance piece by the artist. A selection of older, current, and future pieces will become visible in a gradual and ongoing manner as the artist’s oeuvre develops. This and future chapters are realized with the support of Fiorucci Art Trust.