press release

Basim Magdy
A Peacock and a Hippo Walk into an Existential Debate
Un Paon et un Hippopotame se lancent dans un Débat Existentiel
June 6–August 25, 2019

From June 6 to August 25, 2019, La Kunsthalle Mulhouse is hosting a solo exhibition dedicated to Basim Magdy.

Basim Magdy (b. Assiut, Egypt, 1977, lives and works in Basel, Switzerland) is a collector, a storyteller, a researcher, a manipulator, a chemist and a philosopher. He accumulates numerous visual material, objects and devices of all sorts. While his starting point is a personal iconography made up of collected images, he makes sure that his works do not contain references that might make them too obviously recognisable and reduce their scope. He prefers the elusive to the familiar, and ventures beyond the visual to enter an unknown space which is more about questions than answers. He traces layers of alternative possibilities over his images. He adds them to other visions, buries them under chemical reactions, loses them in wandering narratives and produces new visions which are less reassuring but more seductive, less obvious but freer. To achieve this, he uses colour or humour, both of which appear in his works as an additional medium.

The exhibition A Peacock and a Hippo Walk into an Existential Debate, presents a range of older and new works. New Acid is the title of the last film written and directed by Basim Magdy and produced by La Kunsthalle Mulhouse. Its premiere is taking place during the exhibition. A selection of photographs, paintings, films and installations will also be shown to the public for the first time in a colourful painterly environment that the artist created specially for the exhibition. The exhibition becomes an artwork in itself, welcoming visitors and inviting them to make it their own.

Basim Magdy’s work appeared recently in solo and group exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Athens Biennial; Beaufort Triennial, Belgium; South London Gallery; University Galleries at Illinois State University; MAAT Museum, Lisbon; Gothenburg Biennial; Arnolfini, Bristol; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; MCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Turin; New Museum Triennial, New York; MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome; Jeu de Paume, Paris; CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux; Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin; La Biennale de Montreal; MEDIACITY Seoul Biennial; 13th Istanbul Biennial; Sharjah Biennial 11 and 13; Les Ateliers de Rennes – Biennale dʼart contemporain 2010 and 2018, France and La Triennale: Intense Proximity, Palais de Tokyo, Paris.