10 JUNE – 8 OCTOBER 2023
GLOBUS PUBLIC ART PROJECT
IN COLLABORATION WITH FONDATION BEYELER
This summer, Swiss artist Claudia Comte will take over and transform the facade of Basel’s historical department store Globus with a large-scale installation that offers passersby a moment of contemplation in their daily routines. Waves, Cacti, and Sunsets is the first iteration of the “Globus Public Art Project”. During the three-year renovation of its iconic department store on Basel’s market square, Globus is collaborating with Fondation Beyeler on inviting artists to conceive and realize new site-specific works of art that engage with the building and its facade.Waves, Cacti and Sunsets present a window into another world, a world of contemplation and stimulation. While a sweeping black and white pattern provides a second skin to Globus’ fa c ade, consisting of an iridescent flow of lines and spanning the full height of the building, the work is comprised of large format images of desert landscapes featuring tall cacti. In the background, a stunning sunset seduces and intrigues. The cacti are playful analogs of this plant and an ecological force: resilient and adaptive to the increasing aridity of land in many parts of the world. Camouflaged with a cartoonish environment that is both joyful and optimistic, the cactus is inscribed in Comte’s artistic vocabulary as a symbol of desertification. The third component of the work is a repeating image of waves breaking, connected like a sequence of film stills set on pause. Rolling along on the ground level, these waves invite people to look up while counterbalancing the desert above. Yet, the landscape also causes pause for thought: the desert is too arid to sustain human life; the cacti are cast in marble and the sunset is a burning orange. The work’s undertones of ecological crisis provide a necessary counterpoint to the dreamscape.
© Claudia Comte
© Images Maris Mezulis with all rights reserved