Basel Blörb #4 by Karim Crippa

by Karim Crippa

Shlepping around a severe hangover, I spent yesterday in an odd limbo, not quite sure about what to do. I first went back to Art Basel to check out things I had missed and talk with the ladies from Luxembourg & Dayan, whose attitude was as considerate and savvy as the booth they had put together. Sweating out the toxins from the previous night, I tried to focus on not giving the impression of someone having a slo-mo heart attack and moved on to visit Galeria Plan B. Their presentation was both unpretentious and impressive, as I had expected; a tortuous fibreglass sculpture by Ciprian Muresan consisting of various casts he made of socialist statues was so beautiful it made me breathe (even) heavier. After that, I started feeling the first tickles of art saturation. Lucky for me, my day’s quality was once again sensibly enhanced thanks to the support of someone more important than me: this time, SLEEK Editor in Chief Jeni Fulton took me under her wing and introduced me to the charms of a brand-owned VIP lounge. Upon entering, champagne was immediately served and so we gazed at the hundreds of art professionals mingling in the fair’s courtyard, sipping our ice-cold drink and agreeing that life was good. 4 glasses later, I found myself in the state you can imagine and moved on to the Art Basel Parcours reception, held in what must be the city’s most picturesque garden and featuring more bubbles, a dapper Marc Spieler and the best outfit I saw so far, courtesy Isabella Bortolozzi (something black, with crazy volumes and an indescribable texture). A young Basel collector then invited us in his convertible and chauffeured us to a pleasant dinner hosted by frieze’s Mareike Dittmer; the insolent privilege in which I was delving somehow turned into protestant guilt, which I tried to overcome by, well, you know, drinking more. I hope not all readers are convinced I’m an alcoholic by now. Filled with delicious Thai food and not ready to go to bed, I met with curator Elise Lammer at the Klingenthal exhibition space. In the warm summer night, we discussed the twisted aspects of the Austrian soul and today’s opening at SALTS, where she serves as a curator; if anybody’s into the combination of good Swiss bratwurst and good emerging contemporary art, I press you to attend that event. The Rhine is not far either, and plunging into invigoratingly cool waters after discussing the merits of Caroline Mesquita’s sculptures sound like an ideal way to galvanize one’s strained senses.