Art Basel Launches Its Latest Online Viewing Room—OVR: Portals
Its in-person events may be resuming, but Art Basel is not slowing down its digital initiatives.
Its latest online viewing room, OVR: Portals, is running on Art Basel's website from June 16-19. This is the first of its online viewing rooms to be led by curators: behind the event are Magali Arriola, director of the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City; Christina Li, an independent curator based in Amsterdam and Hong Kong; and Larry Ossei-Mensah, co-founder of Artnoir and curator-at-large at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The trio have brought together 94 galleries from around the world, all of which are showcasing work "addressing the disconnected realities that arose as a consequence of the events of the past year: the global pandemic, recent political upheavals and the recalibration of social behaviour across the globe."
Several galleries from Asia are participating, including De Sarthe from Hong Kong, which is exhibiting paintings and prints from mainland Chinese artist Lin Jingjing's I am going to be a Beautiful Light Brighter than Many Ever See series, and Experimenter from Calcutta in India, which is presenting works on paper by Hongkonger Samson Young.
Ben Brown Fine Arts, which has galleries in Hong Kong and London, is showing works by Cuban sculptor Yoan Capote, American conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas and Ethiopian-American artist Awol Erizku.
From Southeast Asia, Silverlens from Manila is showing pieces by Malaysian artist Yee I-Lann; Nova Contemporary from Bangkok is presenting Sawangwongse Yawnghwe’s new series of work created in response to the current turmoil in Myanmar; and STPI from Singapore is showing photographs by Heman Chong that feature the backdoors of embassies.
Other highlights include Jeffrey Deitch’s presentation of works by Karon Davis that reference the US government’s violent prosecution of the Black Panthers and David Zwirner's showcase of photographs by colour-photography pioneer William Eggleston. White Cube is showing pieces by British artist Tracey Emin and Palestinian-British artist Mona Hatoum, both of whom explore ideas of vulnerability, identity, desire and loss in their work.
Christina Li, co-curator of OVR: Portals, says: "We’re thrilled that galleries from all over the world have responded to the theme 'Portals' in surprising ways with thoughtful and intellectually engaging presentations. The featured works span across multiple temporalities, geographies, and mediums, some of which draw attention to our entanglements with technology, society and identity politics—all of which are pertinent issues of the present moment."