19.06.14 – 22.06.14
Statements with Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs
Hall 2.1 Booth S2

Unlimited with Andrew Dadson

RvSt_ArtBasel_2014-06-18_MG_7610_1200px.jpg RvSt_ArtBasel_2014-06-18_MG_7615_1200px.jpg RvSt_ArtBasel_2014-06-18_MG_7618_1200px.jpg RvSt_ArtBasel_2014-06-18_MG_7621_1200px.jpg RvSt_ArtBasel_2014-06-18_MG_7626_1200px.jpg RvSt_ArtBasel_2014-06-18_MG_7632_1200px.jpg RvSt_ArtBasel_2014-06-18_MG_7634_1200px.jpg RvSt_ArtBasel_2014-06-18_MG_7637_1200px.jpg RvSt_ArtBasel_2014-06-18_MG_7646_1200px.jpg

At Art Basel Statements 2014, RaebervonStenglin will show the first presentation of a major new project by the Swiss duo Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs. Widely regarded as one of the most exciting and inventive teams in contemporary photography, Onorato & Krebs use the photographic moment to 'open the door to a new, exciting little world full of wonders, allowing us to be explorers beyond the extraordinary.'

Their new and ongoing project presents the viewer with an Eastern road-trip, aiming, in the words of the artists, 'to beat the jetstream and the world as seen from satellite'. Setting off in April 2013, they drove for four months in an old Toyota Landcruiser from Zurich to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, crossing 14 countries and travelling 17,000 kilometres. The photographs and film they shot during their travels will form the basis of a series of work, part real, part unreal, which will splice together images experienced with images constructed from imagination and memory.

The journey took Onorato & Krebs through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kirgistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, traversing regions themselves in transition, territories of which very little is known about in the West. The resulting photographic series will present a counterpart to their earlier work, The Great Unreal, which played with the stereotype of the American road-trip; similar in approach but oppositional in process. In contrast to the dominant cultural and visual output of the US, the 'East' suggested to the artists a more empty and subtle preconception.

'We wanted to make a journey into largely unknown territory, driving across deserts and mountain ranges, vast spaces without mainstream imagery … mostly camping in the wild, encountering jurassic bureaucratic systems and visa regulations, mysterious ferry schedules, people overflowing with hospitality and curiosity and the omnipresent smell of sheep.... following a vague sense for myths and spirituality, holy mountains, burning rock formations, white marble cities, ancient trade routes, shamanistic centres, blurring the concepts of knowing and believing (the ancient model).... crossing countries ruled by totalitarian clans, sitting on vast and mostly unexplored natural resources, displaying unrestricted wealth and wide open doors for an almost futuristic sense of turbo-capitalism.'

Using outdated means of documentation such as 16mm film and large format plate cameras, and adding studio-born constructions, Onorato & Krebs play upon the myth of the road trip itself and the exoticism of the East, expanding the terrain of the documentary in their search for the Central Asian fairytale. Their work takes the journey as an experimental approach, inviting coincidence as a creative force. The resulting images are constructions as much as they are documentations, involving sculptural reconstruction and post-production, preposterously enhancing the idea of a thing as much as its reality, and condensing within a single moment its possible past and future:

'We are remembering the explorers in the last centuries who came back from long journeys into unknown territories, with their books full of sketches of fantastic creatures and treasure chests full of curious finds, heroic tales, adventures and discoveries, always on the verge to fantastic exaggeration in order to raise enough astonishment and amazement to get the funds for the next trip.

The booth features two blocks of b/w photographs on the walls, and a structure resembling the national symbol of Turkmenistan. The structure is coverd with golden shining glass, which is commonly used for buildings in these Central Asian countries. The visitor can enter through a small door and view a film featuring neon light displays on buildings located in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan.

with support by:

< / >