Concerto finale

26.11.2023  —

Regionale 24

Pavel Aguilar, Ester Alemayehu Hatle, Marianna Angel, Stefan Auf der Maur, Amélie Bargetzi, Jonas Beile, Ana Brankovic, Ralph Bürgin, Sara Gassmann, Claudia Gutiérrez Marfull, Sophie Heukemes, Jan Hostettler, Matthias Huber, Anita Kuratle, Aimée Le Briéro, Florina Leinß, Julie Luzoir, Sugano Matsusaki, Robin Michel, Laura Mietrup, Laurie Mlodzik, Mariana Murcia, Anastasia Pavlou, Noemi Pfister, Sergio Rojas Chaves, Giacomo Santiago Rogado, Paula Santomé, Kathrin Siegrist, Yanik Soland, Dadi Wirz

Gratitude for 25 years of Kunsthaus Baselland and the start of a new era

This year’s Regionale at Kunsthaus Baselland is a very special one. For the past 25 years, Kunsthaus Baselland has been shaped by the contributions of more than 1300 artists from both the region and abroad, with 193 solo exhibitions and 87 group exhibitions. This collective effort has transformed the institution into what it is today – one of the foremost destinations for contemporary art in the region, serving as a hub for artistic production and its dissemination. The upcoming move from Muttenz to the Dreispitz location in Münchenstein in the spring of 2024 marks the start of a new chapter for our institution in a fresh setting and with new premises. To celebrate this transition and to express our deep gratitude to all those involved, we will be collaborating with nearly 30 artists to show large-scale works in a variety of disciplines, along with perfomances, sound works, and concerts that collectively pay tribute to the venue and its rich history. Running concurrently with the Regionale is a solo exhibition by the artist Chiara Bersani, whose performative work is likewise intimately connected to Kunsthaus Baselland. In a spirit of artistic camaraderie, she becomes an integral part of the Regionale.

The Regionale is an annual group exhibition developed in the context of a cross-border cooperation of 20 institutions in Germany, France, and Switzerland with a focus on local contemporary art production in the three-country region around Basel.

KuratorIn: Ines Goldbach, Ines Tondar

Yanik Soland & Marianna Angel SOLAND ANGEL, Rotten Flowers, shiny shoes, 2023, Performance + Installation, Bühnenelemente (je ca. 15 × 100 × 30 cm), Metallplatten und -halterungen, Nägel, Plastikblumen, Blumen, Spiegel, Glocken, selbstgebaute Instrumente, Draht, Kenzans (japanische Werkzeuge für Ikebana), Midi-Keyboard, Keyboardständer, Plastikkegel, Holz, Stimmgabel Masse variabel. Pavel Aguilar, The Accordion Project, 2022, Karton und Holz, Video (4‘19“), je 35 x 20 cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Finn Curry

The accordion’s fascinating journey and dazzling popularity in Latin America is deeply rooted in the dynamics of migration and cultural interaction. Originating in Germany in the 19th century then spreading throughout Europe, this instrument found its way to Latin America in the hands of travelers. Since then, it has played a major role in the fusion of various musical rhythms and even contributed to the creation of new sounds.
In Pavel Aguilar’s video, the accordion is given a playful meaning in the context of anti-colonial activities. It documents the manufacturing of an accordion in Germany and its import to Latin America. “What happens to the meaning of an instrument when its musical properties and its historical development come into contact with each other?” Colorful accordion bellows draped on the wall bear inscriptions of words and expressions that represent the anti-colonial movement within the exhibition. The inscriptions come from Latin American thinkers who have been made invisible. Aguilar draws our attention to the importance of these words and symbols that stand for the struggle against oppression and domination.
Pavel Aguilar’s research lies in the field of post-colonialism and migration. With a thoroughgoing curiosity, he explores the finely woven network of relationships and connections that arise from the history and geography of a territory, as well as from the humanity that has inhabited, shaped, and filled it with life—be it through colonization, cultural exchange, or just plain old-fashioned exploitation.
The visual representation of sound stands out as a central element of Aguilar’s work. Through its expressive power, sound opens a window into the emotions and thoughts that are inextricably linked to the music and stories that the accordion transports in its harmonic web of sound.

Stefan Auf der Maur, Human Legacy, 2019-2023, Öl auf Plastiksack, Masse variabel. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

Stefan Auf der Maur focuses on an everyday yet symbolic object in our throwaway society: thin plastic bags. These light and transparent bags are a common sight in our environment and are often carelessly thrown away. The artist gives new life to this thoughtlessly discarded material by animating it with quick and precise brushstrokes. Animals are among his favorite motifs in his multi-layered painterly oeuvre.
In 2018, the artist spent time working in Panama, which inspired him to create a series of bird paintings. He painted fascinating, brightly shimmering birds on fragile plastic bags with often vibrant colors. This painting ground not only serves as a visual link to his theme of “air dwellers,” but also points to the fleeting nature and possible extinction of many bird species that are threatened by human influence. Littering, carelessness towards nature, and climate change are themes that resonate here.
Stefan Auf der Maur’s painterly work reveals the fragility of nature and explores the interactions between humans and the environment. The artist not only uses oil paint, but also sculptural techniques and drawings.

Amélie Bargetzi, Là où nous sommes, 2019-2020, Film, 35’41’’, Fos-sur-Mer, Frankreich. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

The small town of Fos-sur-Mer in Provence, located between the Rhone Delta and the Camargue, has a lot of charm and a wide variety of outdoor sporting activities. Since the 1970s, Fos-sur-Mer has also been one of the largest industrial areas in Europe. More than 200 factories are located in the once lush natural landscape, and around 80,000 people work on the sites.
The relationship between local residents and industry is conflicted. The factories certainly bring jobs and money to the region. At the same time, however, they destroy the nature, polluting the air and the sea. There has been a noticeable increase in chronic illnesses and an unusually high incidence of cancer in the area.
Amélie Bargetzi portrays this relationship between industry and the inhabitants of Fos-sur-Mer in her film Là où nous sommes. The artist creates images without judgment. In the work, two protagonists have their say, making it clear how divided people’s relationship with industry is: some are content and almost don’t notice the factories anymore. Others expect industry to advocate for workers’ health and against environmental pollution.
Contrasts also run through the images in Bargetzi’s film: children playing on the beach—behind them, just a few meters away, are large tanks for storing oil. In the foreground, there is cheerful fairground activity—behind them, a huge flame shoots into the sky from an industrial gas flare. Everything seems ambivalent. Bargetzi’s work unites both sides in a restrained but keenly observant way.

Jonas Beile und Sugano Matsusaki, GMT+9, 2022 1-Kanal-Videoinstallation (29’13’’), Textilfarbe und Acryl auf Leinwand je 40 × 50 cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

In GMT+9, Jonas Beile and Sugano Matsusaki stage a nuanced portrait of two Japanese women. The protagonists escaped the social constraints of their native country to start a new life together in Berlin. In GMT+9, the Japanese time zone becomes a metaphor for the not necessarily smooth transition between lifeworlds, cultures, and calendars.
A poignant moment in the film shows one of the women accusing the other of keeping her body and mind on Japanese time (GMT+9). This emotional narrative unfolds through skillfully edited interviews and narration from the protagonists’ points of view. Jonas Beile and Sugano Matsusaki create a fictional framework that leaves room for unpleasant, perhaps even repressed thoughts—those that often remain hidden.
Even after living in a new city for many years, these people still feel like strangers. Homeless. The idea of freedom in western metropolises demands a constant emphasis on one’s own identity. Despite the changed physical environment, they remain firmly anchored in their own perspective. The rhythms of the two women’s lives diverge, making the differences in their social backgrounds more apparent. The protagonists share their feelings with us and shed light on issues such as shame, concealment, and the challenges of living way they long to. But the ideal of openness weighs on them like an incessant, unconscious pressure. Berlin doesn’t always turn out to be the place they dreamed of, and the freedom they strive for has to give way to the harsh laws of asserting oneself in reality.

Ralph Bürgin, Cold Song, 2023 Öl auf Leinwand 250 × 170 cm; Concerto Giardino, 2023 Öl auf Leinwand, 250 × 170 cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

Ralph Bürgin’s often large-format, sketch-like, nearly monochrome paintings have an almost sculptural effect. Inspired by the art and mythology of antiquity, the images represent a painterly attempt to unite the motif of Janus (also known as the “father of all springs”) with the element of water to create a kind of eternal fountain. Janus is the Roman god of all origins and eternal dualisms like beginning and end, creation and destruction, future and past. The doubly mirrored jet of water emphasizes this symbolism and also indirectly refers to the constantly self-renewing and self-sustaining power of art.
The block-like faces in the two fountain pictures are hardly newcomers to Ralph Bürgin’s repertoire. They are passive actors who seem to be silently observing. Bürgin also calls them “intruders with closed mouths.” In the two works Concerto Giardino and Cold Song, however, their mouths are slightly open for once. Instead of words, water flows out of them almost inexhaustibly—an eternal fountain.
Ralph Bürgin’s oeuvre is both beautiful and profoundly knowledgeable, inviting viewers to explore the complexities of his art.

Sara Gassmann, Dreamcity, 2021, Acryl, Tusche auf Baumwolle, 130 x 160cm; Indiana, 2021, Acryl, Tusche auf Baumwolle, 120 x 120 cm; la famiglia, 2021, Acryl, Tusche auf Baumwolle, 130 x 160cm; Hevea, 2021, Acryl, Tusche auf Baumwolle, 140 x 120 cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Finn Curry

The works of Sara Gassmann arise out of colors, forms, and thoughts that merge in an enchanting symbiosis. The artist explores the boundaries of pictorial realization in the media of drawing, painting, and sculpture. Gassmann’s works are a bold journey through the realm of colors and forms that not only encompass individual paintings, but also combine to form variable installations in space. It is not only about what appears on the canvas, but also about the spaces in between, which take the viewer on a journey of subtle frictions and moving thoughts. The color combinations are sensitive and unsettling, and the brushstroke is always visible, revealing the process of accumulated glazes and layers.
Sara Gassmann’s artworks recall familiar motifs, but they are not mere copies or imitations. The artist entices the viewer to think beyond the boundaries of the familiar and experience the art in her works—like the syntax in a poem, where there is room for individual interpretation and movement between the lines.
Gassmann’s works are poems where words are reduced to the essentials and speak a unique language through their rhythm and sound. There is no clear linear narrative structure here; instead, there is room for free thinking and the beauty of the unknown. Sara Gassmann’s art is not only seen, but also felt and thought.

Claudia Gutiérrez Marfull, Translucent rocks, 2023, Nylonfaden und Tüll, 200×120×12cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

Translucent structures cling to the wall, delicately layered atop each other; individual shapes combine to form a whole. They seem alive, as if they could grow and slowly spread across the wall to fill the whole room. Claudia Gutierrez Marfull deals with urban non-places and in-between spaces that don’t get much attention and are hardly given any significance. The artist uses textiles to depict urban elements in a state of dissolution. The contrast alluded to in the title Translucent rocks plays out between the hardness depicted and the soft feel of tulle and nylon threads. The work developed out of the artist’s forays through Basel, where she noticed the city’s permanent state of transformation: construction sites and torn-up streets that reveal interiors, raw materials—rubble, sand, earth, stone. The artist’s work naturally combines these contrasting gestures of manual labor—on the one hand, with bulky materials on a construction site, on the other with flowing textiles—creating a connection between the temporary and the permanent, the delicate and the rough.
Here, in the specific exhibition context of Kunsthaus Baselland, Translucent rocks could correspond to both a beginning and an end: a reminder of the walls of the current location, and at the same time a foundation for something new that is being created at Dreispitz.

Sophie Heukemes, dark paths, 2023, Keramik mit Kerze, 29 x 24 x 3 cm; Home, 2023, Keramik mit Metallring, 34 x 18.5 x 4 cm; Nightfight, 2023, Keramik mit Metall, 25 x 30 x 3 cm; saving them for better times, 2023, Keramik, 21 x 18 x 2 cm; Fountain, 2023, Keramik mit Metallring, 110 x 54 x 3 cm; splish splash, 2023, Keramik mit Metallring, 34 x 27 x 2 cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

Sophie Heukemes’ work abducts viewers into a world of symbols, metaphors, and multi-layered narratives. They feature animals, which symbolize the various facets of the human character, and the dark night as a place of uncertainty and mysticism. Heukemes’ art is a mirror of her thoughts, experiences, worries, fears, and dreams, an attempt to sound out and materialize the innermost parts of her soul.
By using mythological imagery and her own symbolism, Heukemes creates imaginary places somewhere between her own reality and that of the viewer. Materiality plays a decisive role here. The contrast between the smooth glaze and the rough clay creates a special feel that makes the works tangible and alive. As Heukemes shapes each piece with her hands, it obtains its own unique character. The artist seeks to convey more than just visual impressions. She wants to create an incentive to touch the work in order to feel the depth and vitality of the material.

Jan Hostettler, A, 2022, Holz, Metall 78 × 22 × 6 cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

Jan Hostettler’s work integrates impressions and found objects from his own research—often on foot, in the form of long walks and hikes. He uses objects found along the way or in archives, museum repositories, and estates as working material, giving them a new form. For example, he decomposes wooden sculptures into pigments for his paintings and gives them a new presence on the canvas. He displaces seemingly familiar objects into unusual situations and contexts. In this way, the artist leaves both visible and invisible traces through his use of materials, the contextualization of places, and the transformation of objects.
The work A consists of an axe that the artist has found and restored. At second glance, it becomes clear that this axe cannot split wood, as its sharp blade is missing. Instead, it bears the letter “A,” evoking a brand logo. The object plays with the audience’s expectations, and at the same time the action leaves its own stamp on the exhibited site.
The metal work Durchsage arouses the visitors’ curiosity. Half of a saw blade protrudes from it. Visitors are likely to wonder whether the cut continues or has been stopped. The title subtly plays with everyday language—Durchsage means “announcement“, but he plays with the word Durchsäge, which means something like “through saw”—and opens up room for interpretation. Jan Hostettler illustrates how small linguistic shifts can sometimes have major consequences. It also becomes clear that even minor interventions in the space can change the entire building.

Matthias Huber, GELB, 2022, Acryl auf Holz, 110 × 74cm; OHNE TITEL, 2022, Wandtafelfarbe und Acryl auf Holz, 92 × 76cm; OHNE TITEL, 2023, Acryl auf Holz, 95 × 73cm; OHNE TITEL, 2023, Wandtafelfarbe und Acryl auf Holz, 140 × 140 cm (2-teilig); OHNE TITEL, 2023, Aktivkohle und Acryl auf Holz, 117 × 85cm; OHNE TITEL, 2012, Acryl auf Holz, 90 × 75cm; OHNE TITEL, 2014, Acryl auf Holz, 80 × 60cm; OHNE TITEL, 2023, Aktivkohle und Acryl auf Holz, 85 × 117cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

Matthias Huber’s paintings seem to reside in a state before painting even begins. The artist is concerned with issues of pictorial invention. The subjects can be abstract, figurative, or concrete. They may even appear as studies of color and form. The process of pictorial inventional itself and the accompanying questions thus become the main focus of his work. They confront us as viewers and expose the expectations and demands we place on paintings.
The artist often works on several paintings at the same time, which allows him to interrupt work on one painting and devote himself to another. Matthias Huber uses these interruptions to make new interventions into the discontinued processes and states, to correct them and take different courses. In his studio, the pictures almost become building blocks that he constantly rearranges and reassembles into new combinations—a kind of social system in which supposedly weak pictures are supported by supposedly stronger ones, and the works independently shift their balance of power over time. There is something playful about the constant openness to new combinations, trying things out, and continuously rethinking things, which is also reflected in the character of the pictures and their presentation: Matthias Huber often assembles groups of works in different formats, resting on nails or leaning against the wall. This mobility transports the artist’s studio game into the exhibition space, where it can continue in the viewers’ minds.

Anita Kuratle, Voices (Dokumenta fifteen), 2023, Papier, 720 x 240 cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

The white wall is covered with black lines packed so densely together that they almost merge into a single surface. A wall full of scribbles, chaotic, illegible, and layered on top of each other. A visual murmur. Yet the longer you spend with them, the more these fine lines seem to unravel. You might manage to decipher individual passages and hear single voices more clearly. You step closer, zoom in, dive deeper. A universe of statements and content unfolds: small drawings, symbols, letters, notes.
Anita Kuratle
collects scribbles: from old school books, test sheets in stationery stores, scraps of waste paper, and notepads that testify to long phone calls.
The artist translates the found objects into a three-dimensional form. In the process, she works with various materials like paper, ceramic, plastic, and plaster. The individual handwriting, curves, and tempos remain visible and are further emphasized by the different materials. The differing tones—arranged by the artist into a visual choir—resound in our heads when we look at the work Voices. You can lose yourself in this wall full of stories and narratives, like in a long phone call with someone close, where you imperceptibly slip from one topic to the next.

Florina Leinß, pic190.23 double douse, 2023, Graphit auf Wand, Masse variabel. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

Florina Leinß’ artworks unfold a play of varying materials. The selection plays a decisive role here, be it of varnish, graphite, oil paint, or emulsion. Each material gives her works a unique feel and evokes different visual sensations. Leinss’ main interest is in the interaction between the materials and the viewer’s perception of it.
Intuition plays a major part in her creative process. Rational deliberation flows into her method just as much as spontaneous action and emotional reaction, giving rise to her works’ enigmatically abstract yet strangely familiar presence. One example of this is her work pic179.21transient, in which flat lines run along the wall. A fundamental gesture of the artist’s rich repertoire is revealed here. Abstract forms between drawing and painting yield a unique formal language that is closely linked to a specific world of color. This in turn forms the basis for various new combinations in her paintings and installations.
The transience that is also expressed in the temporary nature of her wall works harmonizes remarkably well with the rest of her artistic work. In her work for Kunsthaus Baselland, for example, she used graphite powder to create a shimmering silver-grey surface. This work was created through the interaction between two digital drawings, which influenced and inspired each other. The work will now be firmly attached to the walls and the space of Kunsthaus Baselland for a few weeks—shaping and transforming it.

Julie Luzoir, La solitude des foules, 2023, paper, variabel. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

Swaths of white paper cover the floor. They spread out on top of each other, spill over the balustrade, and take over the room. Hundreds of small, drawn figures cavort on the paper. Many of them stand alone, with a few subtle and isolated interactions happening here and there. They are held together by long strips of paper, formed and united as a group. Julie Luzoir’s drawings have a performative dimension. The artist uses drawing as a means of creating connections between people and collective experiences. La solitude des foules originally developed out of the loneliness that the coronavirus brought for many. Suddenly, many people found themselves isolated, lonesome, and cut off from their social contacts. This feeling of isolation is illustrated by the countless characters on the endless pieces of paper.
Now, at Kunsthaus Baselland, Julie Luzoir’s work acquires an additional layer: instead of isolation, it symbolizes a community. A solidarity that manifests itself through and at Kunsthaus Baselland. The installation is both a look back and a look forward: a look back at all the artists and visitors, at all those who have supported Kunsthaus Baselland, helped it, worked for the institution and contributed to it. But it is also a look forward to a great new beginning in a new home, with all those who have been Kunsthaus Baselland’s companions so far. Hopefully even more stories will come together at the Kunsthaus in the future, and the crowd on the paper carpet will continue to grow.

Laura Mietrup & Robin Michel, Basement Hum, 2022, Karton, Holz, Dispersion, PVC Röhren, Arduino, Ventilatoren, Hubmagnete, Flaschen, Zither, Melodica, Masse variabel. Matthias Huber, GELB, 2022, Acryl auf Holz, 110 × 74cm; OHNE TITEL, 2022, Wandtafelfarbe und Acryl auf Holz, 92 × 76cm; OHNE TITEL, 2023, Acryl auf Holz, 95 × 73cm; OHNE TITEL, 2023, Wandtafelfarbe und Acryl auf Holz, 140 × 140 cm (2-teilig); OHNE TITEL, 2023, Aktivkohle und Acryl auf Holz, 117 × 85cm; OHNE TITEL, 2012, Acryl auf Holz, 90 × 75cm; OHNE TITEL, 2014, Acryl auf Holz, 80 × 60cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

In the work Basement Hum, Laura Mietrup and Robin Michel present sound sculptures inspired by the humming of cable and ventilation shafts. The sculptures are connected to each other by a system of tubes that simultaneously form a drawing in the space and spread through it along with the sounds of the sculptures. These sounds are produced electro-mechanically—for example by fans blowing on glass bottles, a zither being played by small motors, or a metal bowl being struck mechanically.
Basement Hum is the result of a shared interest in artistically interpreting industrial and architectural structures. It shows a section of the work, which was originally realized as a room-filling installation and at the same time recalls Laura Mietrup’s major solo show at Kunsthaus Baselland in 2022.

Anastasia Pavlou, Me Without U, 2022, Öl, Wasser, Gesso auf Leinwand 200 x 200 cm. Anita Kuratle, Voices (Dokumenta fifteen), 2023, Papier, 720 x 240 cm. Kathrin Siegrist, Skizzen, Dokumente & Display, 2023, Diverse Materialien, Masse variabel. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

For Anastasia Pavlou, making an artwork means creating space—a space for thoughts, feelings, projections. On the one hand, the space is filled with the artist's ideas. On the other hand, the viewers can also fill it with their own thoughts and feelings. Here, painting is her chosen medium. The black, unfathomable space behind the large crow, for example, seems to offer endless space for this. In the various nuances and layers of black, the large figure almost fills the whole canvas. Anastasia Pavlou’s painting almost seems somewhat gloomy. The title Me without U initially suggests an absence—someone seems to be missing. The bird is also simultaneously present yet absent, disappearing into the dark layers of paint. Depending on the viewing angle, it occasionally merges with the background. In the moment when one part becomes clearly recognisable, the other is dissolving. The crow is thus visible in the same way as a shooting star seen from the corner of your eye. If you look straight at it, it disappears into the depths of the night sky. The crow behaves in exactly same way. It triggers a feeling. When we try to clearly discern what the painting is telling us, it becomes blurry and seems to disappear. What remains is a vague idea, an echo of what seemed tangible only moments ago. The artist is interested in thoughts and ideas, or more precisely in their forms: thoughts can be thick or thin; they can lead to something like a tunnel or feel like the emptiness of a void. These morphologies are at the heart of Anastasia Pavlou’s method and are often visible in the formal aspects of her work. The artist works a lot, and fast. However, the intensive work phases alternate with long periods of doing nothing or just thinking and looking. This is one of the reasons why she is so preoccupied with the spaces in between. They leave room for new thoughts and ideas, which in turn can be translated into forms through painting.

Noemi Pfister, Ohne Titel, 2021; Le Ali della Libertà, 2021; Omaggio alle Mondine, 2020; Invasione di Locuste, 2023; L’ Annunciazione, 2021; Colazione sull‘Erba, 2021, Kugelschreiber auf Papier, je 50 × 60 cm (gerahmt). Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

A series of drawings made with ballpoint pen and pencil. The small format demands intimacy. You have to look at the works up close to recognize what they show: the animal scenes could come from a legend. We all know those stories where animals play the main roles and there is usually a clear moral. On closer inspection, the present can be felt behind the fairytale scenes: the two children under the tree are wearing Crocs, the flower fairy sneakers. And yet, there is something unknown in every picture, every drawing.
The drawing Omaggio alle Mondine is dated May 1, 2084, a glimpse into a gloomy future: strange hybrid creatures toil collecting stalks from the knee-high water, while a frog provides musical accompaniment to their work. The title of the drawing refers to an event from the past: mondine were female workers who carried out the strenuous work of picking rice in the Italian Po Valley in the late 19th century.
Noemi Pfister
composes alternative worlds, but they are based on questions from our past and present: What conditions will we live under, what work will we pursue? Will the boundaries between species still be the same in 2084? What kinds of communities will there be? The artist sees a direct relationship between humanity’s striving for progress and economic growth on the one hand, and social injustice and changing biological systems on the other. Her works illustrate and comment on possible parallel worlds that resemble ours, but have taken different courses at different times, and thus developed different narratives.

Giacomo Santiago Rogado, Room for Intuition, 2023 Mischtechnik auf Baumwolle 4.50 ×12 m / variabel; Coalescence, 2020. Acryl und Öl auf Baumwolle 100 × 70 cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

Giacomo Santiago Rogado’s visual language is free of spatiotemporal coordinates and recognizable objects. His works mostly consist of paintings realized as installations that present evocative forms resembling particles, liquids, elementary life forms or planets, stars or galaxies. They produce a feeling of contradiction and transparency, of interpenetration and overlap, of consonance and resonance.
«Omit the superfluous in order to find the essential»—this is the poetic credo that Rogado so clearly demonstrates. Accordingly, Rogado does nothing but «just paint» when he is painting. There are no preliminary considerations, no project, and no preconceived knowledge; his practice is carried out with balance and perseverance as a paradoxically blind exercise in painting. In his work Room for Intuition, he partly outsources the act of painting to the materials used. They are independent works in which his self-developed techniques are mixed to generate new painting combinations. The effects of the works created with color baths in an interplay of chance and composition immediately impress. In a slow drying process, the cotton cloths absorb the colors that the artist drips into the containers. The drops blossom on the fabrics to form magnificent colorful shapes. The work is a dialog between setting a direction, observing, letting things unfold, and reacting.
Giacomo Santiago Rogado has an extremely sensitive approach to light and space in his work. This interest is reflected not only in his paintings, but also in their well considered placement. Affective, meditative, contemplative—this is how the experience of looking at Giacomo Rogado’s work can be described, and at the same time it is a process of appreciating one’s own being in space.

Sergio Rojas Chaves, Green Thumb Syndrome, 2022, Holzvorhänge, Dimensionen variabel. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

In Green Thumb Syndrome, Sergio Rojas Chaves examines various representations of humans in relation to nature, or more specifically houseplants. The artist has collected snapshots of relationships between people and cultivated tropical plants from manuals and lifestyle magazines. In this context, Rojas Chaves addresses the ambivalence of our relationship with tropical plants, whose cultivation dates back to the 19th century.
The care of houseplants is a practice deeply rooted in colonial extractivism. Specific standards for their care were often developed to focus on aesthetic beauty, regardless of the actual needs of the plants. Many of these methods are still practiced unchanged in houseplant culture today and serve to give the plants a desired appearance: often a cultivated, yet natural look.
The poetic and light depictions of these plants can be found on bamboo blinds—a contrast to the wide-ranging and complex content. Rojas Chaves’ focus is on offering alternative perspectives on human nature. He works with plants and animals to challenge anthropocentrism by emphasizing reciprocal relationships and interactions.
The artist’s personal experiences constantly influence his artistic work. Originally from Costa Rica, he has lived in Switzerland for four years. These experiences have been consistently marked by feelings of nostalgia and alienation. In his efforts to adapt, Rojas Chaves discovered a deep empathy for plants, since their historical discourse is marked by the coordinates of home, relocation, and adaptation, which many biographies share today.

Paula Santomé, Ecdysis, 2023, Aluminium, je 20 × 30 cm und 10 × 15 cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

Paula Santomé’s work has been intensively exploring feminist perspectives on the way women are seen for a long time, especially the Madonna-Whore Dichotomy (MWD). This polarizing tendency either categorizes women as “good” when they are chaste and pure, or as “bad” when they are promiscuous and seductive. The MWD thus emerged to reinforce patriarchy by rewarding conventional gender roles and punishing those who challenged them.
In her work, Paula Santomé shows how different cultures around the world view the snake as a multi-layered symbol. For the Aztecs the snake stood for the great mother, wisdom, and power, whereas in India it represents divinity and the eternal cycle of life. In Minoan culture, the combination of brushes and snakes symbolized female power. On the aluminum panels of Santomé’s works, we can recognize snakeskin-like motifs and their fragments, but never in their entirety. It is as if the snakes have been cast in a mold, whereby Santomé uses the aluminum in a fragile way.
In her texts about her work, Paula Santomé points out that cultural history is a history of imposition. She shows how Christianity has contributed to demonizing the image of the snake—and thus the female body—in order to enforce its patriarchal rules. The Greek story of Medusa is also an important metaphor. Medusa was originally a beautiful woman until the goddess Athena transformed her into a “female chthonic monster” after Poseidon molested her. Her beautiful hair turned into snakes, and she was able to turn anyone who looked at her into stone until she was finally beheaded by Perseus. All the ideas in the work come from the context of Western culture and history. Paula Santomé thus poses profound questions about female identity, history, and the distribution of power in society.

Florina Leinß, pic190.23 double douse, 2023, Graphit auf Wand, Masse variabel. Kathrin Siegrist, U (For The Nights Of The Smiling Moons), 2023, Nylon, ca. 6.5 x 6.5 x 4.85 cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

Soft pastel colors nestle together into an organic structure right below the Kunsthaus’ skylight. It may recall a jellyfish drifting weightlessly through the ocean depths, with the hanging threads as tentacles. The work U (for the Nights of The Smiling Moons) was created in resonance with The Nights of the Smiling Moons, a series of events organized by the FHNW’s Institute Art Gender Nature at Fondation Beyeler. Kathrin Siegrist’s piece was originally activated in this context through workshops and performative contributions by various artists.
In her works, Siegrist explores the practice of painting: Can painting relate to a space that is not just a surface or architecture, but rather where space represents the body? How can pigments materialize in space? At Kunsthaus Baselland, the artist presents an idea of painting as an animate and intra-active intersection via a method she calls “active painting.” A selection of plans, documentary photographs of past performative activations, and sketches complement the installation and combine with it to form a vision.
Sewn together from light but resilient emergency parachutes, the fabrics in soft colors take possession of the space. At the same time, the work generates a space defined by the hanging threads. When our bodies are put in relation to the soft fabric, our senses of proportion and scale are challenged. Siegrist thus negotiates a new space that can potentially redefine a communal process. The work offers the opportunity to gather, to meet, to experience—in short: to create a place of presence.

Sara Gassmann, la famiglia, 2021, Acryl, Tusche auf Baumwolle, 130 x 160cm; Hevea, 2021, Acryl, Tusche auf Baumwolle, 140 x 120 cm. Yanik Soland & Marianna Angel SOLAND ANGEL, Rotten Flowers, shiny shoes, 2023, Performance + Installation, Bühnenelemente (je ca. 15 × 100 × 30 cm), Metallplatten und -halterungen, Nägel, Plastikblumen, Blumen, Spiegel, Glocken, selbstgebaute Instrumente, Draht, Kenzans (japanische Werkzeuge für Ikebana), Midi-Keyboard, Keyboardständer, Plastikkegel, Holz, Stimmgabel, Masse variabel. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Finn Curry

Yanik Soland works as an artist in the fields of visual arts, composition, improvisation, curation, and performance. As a composer, he has written music for theater as well as for his own ensembles, bands, and solo projects. He has also developed video and performance soundtracks as well as audio pieces, including for the award-winning radio play Going to Switzerland by Stefanie Müller-Frank.
In recent years, Soland has increasingly focused on modular synthesizers, self-built instruments, and composing music for theater and radio. His collaboration with his partner Marianna Angel plays a central role in this context. Together they create captivating, sonorous, and moving artworks that strikingly blend performance, visual art, and music.
Marianna Angel began teaching piano and music theory at the age of 15 and has been journeying through the world of music ever since. In addition to her training as a classical pianist, she also does jazz music and composition, and has developed a broad musical horizon as a result.
Angel is active in creative projects where she collaborates with a talented video artist and an innovative improvisation orchestra.
For the grand finale of Kunsthaus Baselland’s current location, Yanik Soland and Marianna Angel will present smaller objects in their performance, using flowers and mirrors as the main elements. What is special here, however, is that elements from their performances will remain in the space as installations—as a permanent trace of their artistic expression.
Mirrors also play a central role in their work as a means of communication. During their performances, they communicate across various angles and use musical devices to create a connection between their works and the audience.

Dadi Wirz, 86 Rivers, 2020–2021 Farbstift-Zeichnungen auf Karton je 28 × 15 cm. Installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2023. Photo: Gina Folly

A river is constantly on the move. Its water flows relentlessly, charting its own path and passing many different places on its journey to the sea. Always traveling—a symbol of the artist Dadi Wirz himself.
Dadi Wirz was born in Papua New Guinea in 1931. In his childhood and youth, he traveled to countless places in the South Seas on his father’s research trips and returned to Papua New Guinea several times as an adult. As an artist, he first lived in Morocco, then in Portugal and England, before finally settling in Reinach in Basel-Country.
Dadi Wirz’s works thematize the many journeys he has made, the places he has seen and lived in. 86 Rivers is a self-portrait that brings together all the rivers that the artist has visited over his long life of traveling. The work can also be read as a personal geographical archive. Mighty rivers like the Nile, but also rivers of regional significance such as the Birs, come together in the work to form a stream of memories. Dadi Wirz selects parts of the rivers with a particularly remarkable course. He draws these stretches as a personal note, marking places he has been and sometimes adding coordinates. The shapes of the river courses are milled from metal plates and assembled in perspex boxes together with the drawings. The result is an archive with the character of a diary, a personal chronicle of memories along the course of a river.