You can see Claudia Comte’s Now I Won (2017) from far down the road up to the convention center here in Basel, Switzerland, and eventually the wooden stakes atop a turf-covered structure reveal themselves to be spelling out the name of the piece in a manner that shows the artist triumphantly asserting her dominance over the town’s main Messepaltz and perhaps Art Basel as a whole.
As an installation for the entrance to the fair, however, this one is business in the front, party in the back. That’s because once you go around you realize you have entered the Fun Fair, where art aficionados can play darts, shoot mini-golf, throw stuff in knockdown toss, or arm wrestle all to gain points and potential prizes—such as a sculpture. There’s also a booth called Dance or Die, in which a DJ is spinning tunes and those around are asked to bust moves (or, less appealingly, die).
If this seems like a little too much Art Basel Miami Beach for Art Basel in Basel, just wait until you get to the last booth: the Fun Fair Shot Bar, which announces in big letters “SLURP ‘EM UP.” This, readers, will be the only time I will get to reference the fair-weather resort town den of hedonism that is the chain “restaurant” Señor Frogs in the context of an art fair on the Rhine, but the Fun Fair Show Bar’s list is straight out of Señor Frogs. The bartenders are wearing T-shirts and sunglasses, and everything is very chill.
Here are your options, and it’s advised that you choose two and take them both at once, which is a monstrously horrifying proposition I’ll probably entertain at some point this week regardless. Slurp away.
Images of the bar below.