Art Basel will present a premier program of film and video work, selected for the first time by Cairo-based film curator and lecturer Maxa Zoller. Drawn from the show’s participating galleries, highlights of this year’s program include Takashi Murakami’s first feature film ‘Jellyfish Eyes’ and Hassan Hajjaj’s new film ‘Karima: A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl’. The program will present the long-awaited European premier of ‘Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict’, an insight into the life of Peggy Guggenheim by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, selected for the program by film connoisseur This Brunner.
In addition, Art Basel will collaborate for the first time with the Festival del film Locarno on a special screening. The Film program will also include works by Julieta Aranda, Katie Armstrong, Will Benedict & David Leonard, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Kimsooja, Oliver Laric, Karolin Meunier, Laure Prouvost, Michael Snow, Mounira Al Solh, Agnès Varda and Kan Xuan.
Art Basel’s Film sector will open with the screening of Takashi Murakami’s debut feature film Jellyfish Eyes from (2013). The film brings Murakami’s brightly-colored fictional characters to the screen for the first time alongside human characters, in a tale set in a small village in the Japanese countryside. With clear references to the Fukushima catastrophe, the children save this fictionary world from disaster. The film’s aesthetics will be brought to life as some of the artist’s fantastical creatures will be present at the Art Basel screening, which will be followed by a Q&A with Takashi Murakami and Maxa Zoller. Takashi Murakami’s film will be shown at 8.30pm on Monday, June 15, 2015.
The Film program will also feature ‘Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict’, being screened for the first time in Europe. Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s documentary is an intimate portrait of an art world icon, and will be shown at 7.30pm on Saturday, June 20, 2015. Hassan Hajjaj’s first feature-length film, ‘Karima: A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl’, depicts the lives of the ‘henna girls’ providing the viewer with a glimpse into the life of Moroccan women working in the Jemaa el-Fnaa, the historic market in Marrakesh and the world which inspires most of Hajjaj’s work. As part of the ‘Lines of Beauty’ program, the
feature is screened alongside Kimsooja’s ‘Thread Routes – Chapter II’. Kimsooja’s film explores the uniquely female craft of making bobbin lace, echoing the beautiful hand craft of Henna painting in Hajjaj’s film, both firmly rooted in tradition. Hassan Hajjaj will be present for a Q&A after the screening of ‘Karima: A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl’ at 8.30pm on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.
Art Basel and Festival del film Locarno will collaborate on a special screening of film works by Duncan Campbell, including ‘It For Others’, for which he won the Turner Prize in 2014. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the artist about his work and will take place at 8pm on Friday, June 19.
As part of the Short Film program on Tuesday, June 16 at 8pm, ‘Voices from the Off’ will present five contemporary female artists whose films and videos present different approaches to the notion of language and voice, a subject that has received new artistic and curatorial attention in recent years. The second Short Film program ‘Morph my Mind!’ will be screened at 10pm. These surreal shorts, which include works by the pioneering Michael Snow as well as Ed Atkins, explore the limits of digital image production. Later in the week, the great cinema verite director Agnès Varda will feature in ‘Food (in) Chains’, another curated program that focuses on the way in which artists deal with the increasing problem behind food production and waste. ‘Food (in) Chains’ will be shown at 8.30pm on Thursday, June 18.