It is positively beautiful in Basel right now, and many of the locals can be seen shedding their clothes and jumping into the Rhine, letting the current carry them along. It is, to put it lightly, not the greatest time to be holed up in a convention center. For those looking to enjoy the great outdoors, though, Art Basel offers its Parcours program, where for-sale works can be viewed on city streets, houses, museums, basketball courts, and parks across the river on the Münsterplatz. There are more than 20 works there (including a wild Marvin Gaye Chetwynd installation and performance), and even when they occasionally disappoint, their environs often dazzle.
Lena Henke has found the best spot in the show, a tiny little park underneath the Münsterplatz where she is showing remarkable sculptures—bodies carved out of tons of sand in huge bags. She has sand breasts there, too, sitting surreally on a table and a ledge. Erika Verzutti has a long branch of bronzed bananas on the wall of a basketball court hidden on the edge of the Münsterplatz. (Fences and walls mark the irregular edges of the court, so that there appears to be no way to go out of bounds.) And Amanda Ross-Ho has affixed super-large keys for various cultural Basel institutions to manholes and fences. They’re invitations to get to the other art venues in this art-rich town.
Below, a look around the fair.