Swiss art fair giant Art Basel is embarking on online streaming with a new digital film program featuring artists’ films. The section will be launched ahead of its annual Hong Kong Fair which has been postponed to May.
The program began with a showcase of three works by Asian artists on the art fair’s website which can be viewed free of charge and is expected to continue, according to Li Zhenhua, the curator of the film industry at Art Basel.
The current selection includes two short films, âThe Ways of Folding Space & Flyingâ (2015) by Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho, and âMuted Situation # 5: Muted Chorusâ (2016) by Samson Young. They are joined by “The Swim” (2017) by He Xianyu, which is a feature film.
Li, who has been running the Hong Kong Fair’s film program since 2014, said that unlike the usual film industry which was scheduled on the basis of submissions from galleries exhibiting at the fair, the online program is a stand-alone initiative that emerged from his previous curation offline.
âIt was inspired by artists that I have metâ¦ and it comes with a chronological idea focusing on film, sound and performance,â Li said. Variety.
âI am always concerned about the media and the ongoing production for art and film. Yes, the program will continue. I want to move the cinema theater experience online to cater to more diverse audiencesâ¦ while remaining an experience at home. It’s like a little whispering project for people willing to listen to the artists.
Art Basel has presented films and works of art in animated image format at its fairs at its three locations in Hong Kong, Basel in Switzerland and Miami Beach in the United States. Following the cancellation of the three fairs last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Art Basel brought the fair online with a series of online viewing rooms. The digital film program is its first initiative to put films and moving image works online.
Li said the fair’s online platform is powerful enough to support streaming, but its intention for the program is to explore how digital devices such as smartphones and computers “have mobilized and controlled us. in our time”.
Cinema as a form of artistic creation has reincarnated in different formats over the past century through technological innovation, Li said. Digital platforms have offered a new avenue for artists and filmmakers. Finding a way to better support their work through these new platforms would be key to the future, he added.
âThe online experience is an added layer to the presence and the future of how art can be,â he said. âThe more we understand about digital media and the digital platform, the more valuable they become. “