The so-called “Olympics of the art world”, Art Basel, returns to Miami Beach on 5 December, bringing together the international art community for the winter art event of the year. Transforming the miles of Miami’s sandy beaches and skylines into a dense and dynamic cultural hub, the event will see special exhibitions pop up at museums and galleries across the city, showcasing historical work from the masters of Modern and contemporary art alongside newly created pieces by emerging stars. Aiming to support the role that galleries play in nurturing artists and promoting the visual arts, Art Basel has cemented a worldwide reputation over 40 years of presenting an ambitious and diverse range of paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs and films from over 250 of the world’s leading galleries.
Within the expansive and comprehensive programme of events at Miami Beach, film forms a vital component. Selected by David Gryn, Director of London’s Artprojx and Zurich collector, This Brunner, the film selection spans over 70 film and video works drawn from the show’s participating galleries and includes works by Dara Birnbaum, Martin Creed, Rineke Dijkstra, Joan Jonas, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Mickalene Thomas and Kehinde Wiley.
The film selected by Brunner as the feature work is the United States premiere of Nan Goldin- I Remember Your Face (2013) by Sabine Lidl. Screened in the presence of Goldin and Lidl on 6 December and followed by a Q & A with the artist and film director, it offers a fascinating insight into the seminal American photographer’s life alongside a candid, sensitive and at times humorous perspective on contemporary culture.
Each day of the event offers a specific selection of films centred around carefully chosen ideas or topics. Wednesday 4 December begins with the series, Shuffle Notes- Beauty in Danger, which is angled towards perception and animation, with a later selection, New Dream Machine and Other Films, featuring the international premiere of Martin Creed’s Work No.1700 (2013). Thursday’s programme, meanwhile, looks at work that incorporates elements of dance and movement as an abstract narrative. Friday 5 December’s An Elegy for Voice and Silence on the other hand addresses themes of communication, self-reflection, introspection and a sense of belonging as well as a later screening of Yinka Shonibare MBE’s work which explores cultural identity, colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation and Prelude to a Syncopation, where artists connect sound, choreography and social media. Finally Saturday 7 December examines the relationship between the visual and the audio, celebrating the role of the soundtrack.
Outdoor screenings also take place at SoundScape Park on the 7,000 square-foot outdoor projection wall of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Centre. In addition, a programme that includes nine additional films will be presented within five viewing pods inside the Miami Beach Convention Centre. Stamped with diversity, this year’s film collection promises to form a key part of Art Basel Miami’s Beach’s commitment to creating an ever-expanding platform for new artists at the vanguard of their practice to be admired and enjoyed by the world’s leading collectors, practitioners and followers of contemporary art and culture.
Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami-Beach, 5-8 December, venues across Miami Beach.
1. 80M2 Livia Benavides, Luz María Bedoya, Dirección, 2006, 4’48” Courtesy the artist and the gallery.