All day on Wednesday, one could find art types moving briskly around the Old Town section of Basel, south of the Rhine, holding maps in their hands and looking everywhere for street signs and landmarks. They were on the hunt for the 23 works included in Art Basel’s Parcours section, organized by Samuel Leuenberger, the director of the local Salts space, who has placed art in the area’s museums and gardens, parks and private buildings.
Some works are easier to find than others: it would be impossible to miss Georg Herold’s exuberant sculptures in the Basler Münster’s courtyards, but finding Pierre Huyghe’s sculpture of a woman whose head is teeming with a bee colony—à la his famous Documenta 13 contribution—requires trekking down a series of steps to a garden near the river, and Nedko Solakov has simply written little remarks and drawings on vitrines at Museum of Ancient Art.
A slide show of many of the works follows below, but if you are in Basel, I heartily recommend seeing Mark Manders’s piece at an old church building (he has another in the Natural History Museum), which he has turned into one of his sui generis studios, where it seems a mysterious sculptor has been hard at work for a few days—or maybe a few millennia. It feels like a full-on museum show—it’s a real treat.
Also great: Nina Beier’s incredibly bizarre bucking-bull sculptures, accompanied by Mars bars; Jessica Stockholder’s explosively colored works affixed to architecture around the area; and Simon Denny’s pieces, versions of the board game Life, which he’s reimagined as a kind of exposé on cryptocurrency, one of which has been installed in a gaming shop with a perfect name: Fantastic Empire.