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Peace or Never graduation exhibition presented by Institute Art Gender Nature, FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel

August 21–28, 2022

Opening: August 20, 11am–5pm
Finissage: August 28, 3–5pm

Over forty up-and-coming artists are represented in this year’s Bachelor and Master graduation exhibition at the Institute Art Gender Nature, FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel. Kunsthaus Baselland is the event’s eighth host.

Peace or Never. We created this title as a tribute to and a way to feel closer to the Brazilian author Clarice Lispector, who is of Ukrainian descent (1920–77). She often thought about the reasoning behind the negation and the ultimatum. She once penned in A hora da estrela, “There was the never and there was the yes” (1977). I don’t know why, but I am certain that the cosmos didn’t start out that way. If we extort people most often out of desperation, then we extort those most often who we love the most. We say: “You better commit or you will never see me again.” What we mean is: “Please love me and never leave me alone.” Yes, peace or never. Peace or please never start a war, never. Peace or please protect the lives of all, human and nonhuman. Peace or never face us all with choices that make no sense, choices that disrupt the most precious value, that is, life. There are many wars. All wars are monstrous and all lives valuable. Peace or never, then.

You will witness a graduation exhibition here. The Institute Art Gender Nature at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel has students completing their third-year bachelor’s and second-year master’s degrees. Graduation displays unite the two forces of art practice and instruction. Because they are so interconnected, they present a very intriguing context for discussing the ideals we want to infuse into our futures and our future peace. Violence is not tolerated in this environment and is not practiced. Saying that art and the communities of those who practice it serve as a vaccine against conflict can sound idealistic. But we would emphasize this time and time again because it is illogical to put the logic of war and greed on one side and the worlds of life and art on the other. In fact, mutuality and connection are the only things that make life work. And we contend that the purpose of art is to preserve this momentum and to remain completely immersed in all facets of a sensual life. Possibly in order to prevent life from coming to an end, art was created. Keep in mind that the discovery that a simple stick could be used as a weapon happened at the same time as the fascinating emergence of animal art in caves. Thus, there is justification for reiterating the importance of art and artists as life preservers.

It’s challenging to sum up exhibitions that arise from collective energies of being, like the graduation display we’ve been discussing. Are there generational or personality factors that enable us to “read” pandemic sequels? Hopefully not. Contemporary practices, artistic languages, and media are not data. They don’t show current statistical tendencies. Artists develop as a result of their own narratives, reasoning, and comprehension of their techniques. They don’t only “react” to the needs of the here and now. This quality is excellent. As defined by media languages and their corporate sponsors, there are enough disciplines, techniques, and methodologies available for “responding” to the moment. To see and reflect our expectations, hopes, and grief, we require precisely this lag between the world and ourselves.

This exhibition features numerous representations of the actual, numerous ways to convey faith in art. Why are we referring to it as a group exhibition? When visiting an art venue, the phrase “group exhibition” is frequently used. This typically suggests that the curators chose pieces to create an exhibition that centers around a particular subject. Ours is a unique tale. Like in a sizable international exhibition, like a biennial or documenta, the participating artists have created a new piece specifically for this occasion. Comparing this exhibition’s procedures to those of major worldwide shows is not conceited because the primary distinction is that all of the participating artists are graduating college students. 

And this is not a justification for undervaluing their efforts in creating new works in comparison to those of more accomplished artists. The end result is the same: every participating artist sees the works of their fellow participants for the first time on the day the exhibition is ready for you, our cherished audience. This suggests trust, as well as a great deal of assurance and delight in the efforts of the community they are a part of. They all understand that sharing this space and these works at this specific time and context is worthwhile. In addition, one witnesses the amazing transition from being an artist to being an art student, which lasts a lifetime. They all and we have an agreement on this. Peace or never. That is, peace forever.

Artists: Sebastian Crispin Altermatt, Marisabel Arias, Colin Benjamin Barth, Cécile Baumgartner Vizkelety, Raffaela Boss, carolina brunelli, Wren Cellier, Dimitra Charamandas, Charles Benjamin Desotto, Yana Dyl, Valentin Egli, Hana El-Sagini, Hannah Maria Furgal, Sebastian Gisi, Janosch von Graffenried, Silas Heizmann, Charlotte Horn, Golnaz Hosseini, Vianne Houlmann, Jonas Huldi, Maria Ionescu, Ana Jikia, Diego Kohli, Minh Noah Krattiger, Benjamin Lenz, Josefina Leon Ausejo, Claire Megumi Masset, Anna Meisser, Milena Mihajlović, Manuela Libertad Morales Délano, Anita Mucolli, Sinai Mutzner, Joan Pallé, Kiki Pavlović / Demonbaby2222, Paula Santomé, Benoît Schmidt, Moa Sjöstedt, Fabio Sonego, Lukas Roman Stäuble, Ruben Stauffer, Fabienne Stucki, Jessica Voelke, Kateryna Vysoka, Victoria Wicki, Jack Young, Severin Zbinden. Curated by: Fernanda Brenner and Chus Martínez. Curatorial assistance: Tabea Rothfuchs.

We extend our gratitude to Kunsthaus Baselland, its director Ines Goldbach, and her team, for collaborating with us to host our graduation exhibition for the seventh time.
—Fernanda Brenner and Chus Martínez.

Kunsthaus Baselland
St. Jakob-Strasse 170
4132 Muttenz, Basel
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