At Art Basel, Works With a Museum Presence

BASEL, Switzerland — In an old market hall adjacent to the cavernous center where Art Basel, the gold standard of contemporary art fairs, is taking place, there is a happening unlike anything ever staged here. Called “14 Rooms,” it consists of 14 mini-performances created by artists including Marina Abramovic, Damien Hirst and Yoko Ono, each secreted in a small space behind mirrored doors. Open one door, and there’s a Marina Abramovic look-alike naked and astride a bicycle seat, arms outstretched. In another, identical twins sit in front of identical spot paintings by Mr. Hirst.

“Performance art is usually at the periphery, so why not put it front and center?” said Klaus Biesenbach, director of MoMA PS1 in New York, who organized the project with Hans-Ulrich Obrist, a director of exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery in London. “It’s a temporary museum. Nothing here is for sale.”



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