“New Swiss Performance Now” at Kunsthalle Basel

Balz Isler, In order to be, 2014, (Performance), Kunsthaus Hamburg
Photo: Tim Heuss / Kunsthaus Hamburg


From January 18th, 2018 Kunsthalle Basel presents New Swiss Performance Now, an exhibition on the current state of performance art. Continuing its tradition of showcasing emerging artists, Kunsthalle Basel’s New Swiss Performance Now concentrates on a new generation of artists who use performance in their practice. Bringing together both artists regularly making performance art and visual artists who use the medium when it best expresses an idea, the show is conceived as a “live exhibition” in which no documentation, scripts, props, or other traces of performances will be exhibited. Instead, for one month, and within special opening hours, numerous performances and a vibrant program of ephemeral actions and events will unfold on the upper floor of Kunsthalle Basel. Presenting newly commissioned and recent pieces that range from the spectacular to the almost imperceptible, the selected artists draw on techniques from theater, dance, installation, or film to make their fleeting, situation-oriented actions. Expanding on the incredibly rich history of performance art in Switzerland—so well documented and presented by this exceptional multi-institutional collaboration—Kunsthalle Basel’s program emphasizes the form’s vitality in the new and the now.

The exhibition’s duration is framed by two of Basel’s liveliest cultural events. It begins on January 19, 2018, with the 18th edition of Basel Museums Night (with more than thirty-five participating museums and institutions), and it ends with a grand finale on the night of February 18, 2018 and carries into the wee hours of February 19, 2018 when all of Basel turns off its lights at 4 am for the Morgestraich, the ritual beginning of carnival, the city’s own “collective performance.”

New Swiss Performance Now is with, among others, Claudia Comte, Florian Graf, Raphael Hefti, Balz Isler, Florence Jung, Sophie Jung, Stefan Karrer, Ariane Koch & Sarina Scheidegger, Jérôme Leuba, Lou Masduraud & Antoine Bellini, Ernestyna Orlowska, Lea Rüegg & Raphaela Grolimund, Yves Scherer, Steven Schoch, Hannah Weinberger, Johannes Willi.


Ernestyna Orlowska, God Is A Girl, (Performance), in Kollaboration mit Tanja Turpeinen, Stadtgalerie Bern, 2017
Photo: David Aebi


Claudia Comte, Tornado Kit, 2014
Photo: Stefan Altenburger


Raphael Hefti, Quick Fix Remix, 2015, (performance)
Courtesy the artist


Sophie Jung, [@real, too] eh, co–?: “nah, cis. us!”, 2015
Photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel


New Swiss Performance Now
Curated by Elena Filipovic and Renate Wagner
19 January–18 February 2018
Opening 18 January 2018, 7pm

19/20 January 2018, 7pm–2am | Performance night for Basel Museum Night 2018
20 January–17 February 2018 | Special opening hours performance events
18/19 February 2018, 7pm–2 am | Grand finale

Kunsthalle Basel | Steinenberg 7, Basel
+41 61 206 99 00