Basel from an Artist’s Perspective: an Interview with Hannah Weinberger

by Mara Sartore
May 17, 2018
Mara Sartore
Weinberger Hannah

On the occasion of our paper and digital issue on Art Basel and the art week in Basel and Zurich, we asked Basel-based artist Hannah Weinberger (Filderstadt, Germany, 1988) to tell us about her art and practice and to unveil the projects she has been working for Art Basel.

Hannah Weinberger lives and works in Basel. She completed her Master‘s degree in Fine Arts at the Zurich University of the Arts. Her recent solo exhibitions include “Sounds like news”, Istituto Svizzero di Roma, Rome; “just take it and leave it”, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, Nuit Blanche, Paris; “You’ll be there when I’ll be near”, Badischer Kunstverein Karlsruhe (2016); Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2016); “As If I became upside down,right side up”, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof (2015); KUB Arena, Kunsthaus Bregenz (2014); MIT List Center for Visual Arts, Cambridge, MA (2014); Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles (2015); “Le Moi Du Toi”, Swiss Institute, New York (2012), amongst others. From 2011 to 2013, she co-ran the project space Elaine at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel, and is currently a residing board member of the Kunsthalle Basel.

Mara Sartore: You frequently work with sound and interaction with the audience in your works and installations. Which one of the two came first?

Hannah Weinberger: It came together. I can’t separate these things. I always think of the place also in a potential relation to an audience where works are being shown and distributed especially when they’re interfering with the acoustics and the already existing atmosphere and sounds

MS: You collaborated with Art Basel on two projects for this edition of the fair. Could you tell us a bit about them?

HW: I’m currently preparing a project called Down There for this years Art Parcours edition. It will be a 10 channel sound installation spread out and distributed inside of a variety of sewers located in Basel’s Old town between Kunstmuseum and Münsterplatz. Each sewer will have its own sound resonate with both field recordings and site-specific compositions. The other special project I initiated is the Hidden Bar located at Art Basel exactly behind the big watch in the main fair building as part of Art Basel venues. Together with friends and artists there will be a running Hidden Bar always open during the hours of the fair and accessible to everyone entering the fair. As a special we will have daily a happy hour (last two hours of the fair) where people can meet artists, experience special projects, see them performing and get inspired. This will be a new and very special place to experience inside of this fair situation.

MS: What does it mean to you to be a woman artist in 2018 (or ever)?

HW: Maybe one could also ask what does it mean to be a male artist today!? The beautiful thing is that there is not really a gap between my life as a woman and my life as an artist.

MS: What will be your future projects after Art Basel?

HW: I’m working on various new works and especially new ways of distributing sound and images.. Exhibitions coming up will be the 57th October Salon in Belgrade entitled THE MARVELLOUS CACOPHONY, the Athens Biennale, also working on a piece for the 20th anniversary of Kunstraum Riehen and a big solo show at Villa Merkel in Esslingen. I think there are few more projects that still have to be confirmed that could be listed bit later.

MS: You live and work in Basel. What is your relationship with the city? What are your favorite places to hang out to chill or find inspiration for your work?

HW: Most of my life I have lived in Basel. I like the size of the town and the fact that it’s easy to leave and return and the way it is geographically situated in Europe. The Art Institute in Basel is currently one of the important places for me to be. As an artist and lecturer at the Institute I appreciate to see and work with all these amazing artists. It is a fulfilling and inspiring experience.

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