Sylvain Baumann, Justin Eagle, Raja’a Khalid

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Sylvain Baumann, Justin Eagle and Raja’a Khalid


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.

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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.J

ustin 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.

Curator: Alys Williams.

Supported by Maraya Art Centre, Dubai. Justin Eagle residency at Atelier Mondial, Basel.

Selected press

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Sylvain Baumann (b.1981) graduated from University of Quebec of Montreal in 2008 with a MA in Visual and Media Arts and from the Université de Provence Aix-Marseille in 2006 with a MA in Arts plastiques. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Terms & Conditions’, EAC Les Halles, Porrentruy-CH (2016); ‘A Climate of Trust’, CENTRUM, Berlin (2015); ‘Good people run’, Schwarzwaldhalle, Basel-CH (2014); ‘Reliance Room’, Utengasse Sechzig, Basel (2014). Recent group exhibitions include: ‘Meanwhile, Elsewhere’, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel-CH (2015); ‘La chaleur de l’usure’, De Markten, Brussel (2014); ‘Tools of the Trade’, Paulnache Gallery, Gisborn-NZ (2014); ‘Being Specific’, Kunsthausbaselland, Basel (2013); ‘The End’, See Studio, Paris (2013); ‘When I look at things, I always see the space they occupy’, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel-CH (2012). Shows in non conventional contexts include ‘Off the A12’, Balfron Tower, London (2015); ‘Behind’, Dreier Frenzel Architure+Communicatin Office, Lausanne- CH (2013). Recent residencies include Parc Saint Léger, Pougues-les-Eaux-F (2015-16); Cité Internationnal des Arts, Paris (2012). He recently received a bursary from Kunstkredit Basel-stadt to produce an artist book called A CLIMATE OF TRUST (ongoing research); and a grant from the DRAC Bourgogne - Franche-Comté.

Justin Eagle (b.1977) graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2004 with an MA in Sculpture. Solo exhibitions include ‘Ofwat’, 3 Independent Place, London (2014); ‘food for the poor daddy not home from work yet’, VITRINE, London (2013); ‘is he, isn’t she’, VITRINE, London (2011); and ‘A Solitary Cosmopolitan’, Arena Gallery, Liverpool (2010). Group exhibitions include: VITRINE with Contemporary Arts Society, ‘Art in the Home 2’, York (2014); ‘Prop Up’, Johnsons Palace, London (2013); ‘Mass. En Masse. Mass Medium’, Café Gallery Projects, London (2013); ‘Have you seen Dante?’, VITRINE, London (2013); ‘Art/Converters!’, Studio 1.1, London (2012); ‘Monday Monday’, CELL Project Space, London (2010); and ‘the milk plus bar’, Josh Lilley, London (2010). He has shown with VITRINE at The Manchester Contemporary (2014) and SCOOP International Fashion Show, Phillips Gallery, London (2013 and 2014). He was awarded a residency at The Florence Trust, London (2010-11), and was artist in residence at The Peabody Trust, London (2004-05).

Raja’a Khalid (born 1984, Saudi Arabia) received her MFA in Fine Art from Cornell University, where she was also the recipient of the Cornell Council for the Arts Grant in 2013. Solo shows include ‘Southeast to Armageddon’, The Third Line Gallery/Project Space, Dubai (2013); ‘The Persepolis Project’, Experimental Gallery, Ithaca, New York (2013); ‘Explosion!’, Experimental Gallery, Ithaca, New York (2012). Group shows include ‘welcome to what we took from is the state’, Queens Museum, New York (2016); ‘1497’, Green Art Gallery, Dubai (2016); ‘In Search of Lost Time’, Brunei Gallery, London (2016); ‘Like the Deserts Miss the Real’, Galerie Steinek, Vienna (2015); ‘Resistance and Amnesia # 2 – On Failed Utopias, Living Myths and Coloniality Today’, Kunstpavillon, Innsbruck (2015); ‘Accented’, Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah (2015). Recent awards and residencies include the Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen International Fellowship for Art and Theory (2015); the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten Guest Residency (2015); the International Curatorial and Studio Program Residency (2015) and the NYU Abu Dhabi FIND Research Fellowship (2014). Her work has been shown in New York, London, Dubai and Vienna.

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