The world's leading art fair Art Basel opens in Switzerland for its 2022 edition in a more favourable market climate after a two-year gap due to the pandemic.
During a press conference, the organisers reiterated their support for Ukraine and announced a total donation of CHF110,000 (€105,000) which will be split between three humanitarian organisations helping victims of the war.
"In support of Ukraine, taking place throughout the city of Basel, and centred around Mikhailov's photographic series called 'Temptation of Death', we're proud to be collaborating on this project, the Liste art fair and the PinchukArtCentre. In addition, we're also pleased to support tonight's sold-out benefit concert in Basel by the punk collective Pussy Riot, one of Russia's most critical voices against the Putin regime," says Marc Spiegel, Art Basel global director.
The artworks were curated by Björn Geldhof, an art centre director who used to be based in Kyiv and now lives in Belgium.
Alongside the fair, a Pussy Riot's concert was hosted on 14. June, a benefit concert to show support for Ukraine — just like the artwork outside the music venue Kaserne, made by Ukrainian artist Boris Mikhailov.
The photography exhibition in the city is designed as a long walk to explore the urban environment.
All of Mikhailov's artworks are composed of two photographs next to each other, almost fused together.
It explores the boundaries of forbidden images during Soviet times while showing optimism towards the rebirth of an independent Ukraine.
The exhibition and the concert are positively welcomed by attendees of the fair, who think that the organisers did the right thing.
But the formal and luxurious art event is also contrasting a lot with the outside world: rising inflation, and the war in Ukraine.
Art Basel will open to the public from 16 June and will run until 19 June. Admission costs CHF 65 (€62), concessions are available.