Sylvain Baumann, Justin Eagle, Raja’a Khalid, 15 Oct 2016 — 07 Jan 2017

Sylvain Baumann, Justin Eagle, Raja’a Khalid

VITRINE, Basel, Volta Zentrum, Vogesenplatz 15, Basel, Switzerland

VITRINE, Basel presents a three person exhibition of Basel-based Sylvain Baumann, London-based Justin Eagle, and Dubai-based Raja’a Khalid. The exhibition creates a dialogue between the artists’ differing cultures and practices, and between their shared concerns with trust, safety and society’s relationship with architecture and the commercial object.

Raja’a Khalid’s practice is concerned with the Arabian Gulf region and its contemporary narratives of class, ultra luxury and material culture. With a storefront aesthetic, Khalid’s installation comprises of a photograph of an A380 Emirates jet plane and multiple identical Real Madrid Home football shirts (2015 – 2016) emblazoned with the iconographic ‘Fly Emirates’. The collection of shirts is embedded with the fragrance of Oud; a highly coveted resinous heartwood used obsessively in Middle Eastern perfumery. By using a patented microencapsulated formula, the embedding processes allows the controlled release of the fragrance as the fabric ‘moves’. Khalid’s work subtly critiques the Gulf’s own streaming motifs of soft power alongside notions of wealth, masculinity, game, athleticism, adornment, consumer habits and crypto-religiosity.

Sylvain Baumann understands architectural design to be a political and ideological means of contemporary society and is interested in the motivations, ideas and mechanisms that produce this society. His site-specific installation has been created for the unique exhibition space and its 24/7 visibility on the public square. Using two- and three-dimensional elements, Baumann’s new installation is presented as a place to be looked at and a place to be used. The installation is accompanied by his ‘certificate of trustworthiness‘, bridging the artist’s ideas of living in a ‘climate of trust’. These new works are set within the artists wider research into the mechanism of the construction of the sentiment of trust and raise questions about contemporary architecture, comfort and use, and how the physical environment influences behaviour, perception and experience of visitors and passers-by.

Justin Eagle uses a residency at Atelier Mondial, Basel, and a period of time in the city to investigate the gallery’s unique environment and its surrounding architecture and society. Eagle’s reading of visual culture is through the appropriation of sign; Cultural identity formed through the urban and its cultural signifiers, the sense of loss for another place and the duplication of romantic iconography are three entwined themes that run through his practice. Working with and within the immediate environment, embedding found objects, photographs, collage and sculpture is a characteristic of the artists practice. Having previously exhibited at VITRINE, London, the artist is familiar with the concept of the unique exhibition space and the potentialities coming along with it. The one month stay in Basel allows Eagle the opportunity to investigate and experience the new place, developing encounters and ideas into new site- and city- responsive works.

The exhibition at VITRINE, Basel presents a unique fusion of the three artists’ practices, generating new works with shared interests and creating a state of unintentional attraction and subtle repellence.

Contacts & Details


T: +44 (0) 7896056400

VITRINE, Basel, Volta Zentrum, Vogesenplatz 15, Basel, Switzerland

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