Taking place in an old town house called Villa Renata, the works shown in Villa Incognito have been developed site specifically by the artists in collaboration with Deli Projects. Villa Incognito included installation, video, performance, dance and live music. In 2005, American author Tom Robbins published «Villa Incognito», the bizarre and tangled tale of a group of soldiers who go missing in action. They build themselves a gaudy villa, their refuge from the unbearable reality of the Vietnam War. Deli Projects named its exhibition at ∑, the exhibition of Basel’s independent art spaces, after the house these tragi-comic anti-heroes built for themselves. Deli united an old town house, including its cellar and garden, with Icelandic performance, video and installation artist Unnur Andrea Einarsdóttir, Lausanne-based collage and installation artist Maya Rochat, contemporary dancer and choreographer Bastien Hippocrate of La Chaux-de-Fonds, and local installation artist and theatre director Boris Nikitin. The works of these four very different artists have been installed throughout Villa Renata. The preponderance of video in the resulting mix was a happy coincidence, while other commonalities were deliberately introduced to create cohesion. Einarsdóttir’s multifaceted work It’s there but it isn’t oscillated between individual and shared perception of so-called facts. Rochat took us into her own private universe - A Plastic Tool, a mysterious collage of both fiction and reality. Hippocrate generated a convoluted reality with Peeper/looted glass where the viewer was positioned as a voyeur of the artist’s intimate interior. This perspective was echoed in Nikitin’s Asylo Aniaton Athen with its singular setting of a hospice, vibrating between authenticity and falsehood, earnestness and subversion. Each artist raised his own questions about the representation of reality, and we found our comparisons falling short, serving merely as a sketch to help you in your first encounter of Villa Incognito.
As part of their exhibition Villa Incognito Deli was presenting a program of live performance and music at the 13 November opening with Bastien Hippocrate and Unnur Andrea Einarsdóttir, continuing at the After-Party at Schwarze Erle with Prince Heka (Unnur Andrea Einarsdóttir), Suxession (Jari Antti) with Andrea Tortosa Vidal and Harvey Rushmore and the Octopus. Best-known as the undisputed frontman of alternative rockband Navel, Jari Antti – currently working in Berlin – is constantly searching for new, experimental formats. Suxession is one such project, and anything is possible. Only performed three times previously, this crude mash-up of vocals, guitar and live beats results in a sound somewhere between a lost singer-songwriter and an entire band. As if to mitigate his fear of the transitory nature of this puzzling work, Antti draws with black paint on white as he plays, and Spanish dancer Andrea Tortosa Vidal joins him on stage from her ballet rehearsals at Theater Basel. Late night, spontaneous, open-minded. Harvey Rushmore and the Octopus is yet another project resulting from the band Navel. Octopus categories their sweaty galactic jams alternately as psychedelic massacre pop or retro shoe-gaze garage space blues. However you want to interpret them, Harvey Rushmore and the Octopus are lo-fi and real, so we love to save the last dance for them. For Villa Incognito they contribute site-specific video-colla- ge visuals from homemade Villa Renata footage, and other videos. This last makes them the perfect match for Deli Project’s after-party program.
Villa Incognito, Villa Renata, 14 Nov–6 Dec 2015
Exhibition text (Engl.)
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