Ricardo Basbaum, The Production of the Artist as a Collective Conversation. Installation view, Audain Gallery, 2014. Photo: Blaine Campbell.

Ricardo Basbaum: The Production of the Artist as a Collective Conversation

October 16 – December 13, 2014
Audain Gallery

Since the early 1990s, Brazilian artist Ricardo Basbaum has incited artistic encounters by inviting people to engage with and respond to systems of symbols and rules embedded in objects, scripts, diagrams, maps and games. In his projects, Basbaum quotes artistic and graphic communication tactics that are both vernacular and abstract, thereby easy to learn, interpret and memorize. Through interaction with these fluid sets of visual and linguistic terms for the production of an artwork, Basbaum seeks to collectively consider the material, social and spatial membrane between artist, contemporary art system, art object and participant.

The Production of the Artist as a Collective Conversation is an emerging exhibition that frames the gallery as a critical site of pedagogical and artistic production. Over its eight-week installation, the project will accumulate conversations, experiences, and audio, visual and print documents initiated by Basbaum with students and invested publics.

As the School for the Contemporary Arts’ Audain Visual Artist in Residence, Basbaum will also facilitate reading, discussion, writing and editing towards the presentation of a public conversation and publication that considers how the image of the artist is constructed and what the prevailing forces on artistic production are.

The exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to consider the production of the artist through Basbaum’s long-term project Would you like to participate in an artistic experience? Since 1994, Basbaum has extended the invitation to engage with a simple steel polygon object called NBP (New Bases of Personality) both inside and outside the gallery. NBP has been introduced into communal dinners, sports games, domestic cleaning, dance choreography, landscaping, tattooing and industrial fabrication. NBP mediates an inquiry into what the possibilities for an artistic experience are, how one participates in it, and what its the potential effects are.

Basbaum lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. His work has been exhibited at Logan Center Gallery, Chicago; Secession, Vienna; The Showroom, London; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela; the 30th Bienal de São Paulo; 2012 Busan Biennale; and documenta 12. Basbaum is the author of Manual do artista-etc (Azougue, 2013) and Além da pureza visual (Zouk, 2007). He is also a Professor at the Instituto de Artes, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, and was a visiting Professor at the University of Chicago (2013).

Presented with the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU, as part of their Audain Visual Artist in Residence Program.

Curated by Amy Kazymerchyk.


Artist Talk
Wednesday, October 15, 6pm
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre

Opening Reception

Wednesday, October 15, 7pm
Audain Gallery

Wednesday October 29, 6pm
Audain Gallery

As part of his residency, Ricardo Basbaum will teach a course within SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts with Sabine Bitter titled, “The production of the artist as collective conversation”. The course will provoke a conversation amongst students through reading, writing, editing and speaking, on how the role and image of the artist is constructed. The culmination of this collective conversation will be performed live in the Audain Gallery. A recording of the performance will then be installed in the gallery for the remainder of the exhibition.

Exhibition Tour
Amy Kazymerchyk and Sabine Bitter
Saturday November 22, 1pm
Audain Gallery

Join us for a tour of the exhibition led by curator Amy Kazymerchyk and SCA Assistant Professor Sabine Bitter. Afterward, walk with us to the Satellite Gallery for a 2pm tour of The Port, led by curator Cate Rimmer, then continue to Contemporary Art Gallery for a 3pm tour of Shimabuku, led by director Nigel Prince.

Would you like to participate in an artistic experience?
Ongoing throughout the exhibition
Audain Gallery

Would you like to participate in an artistic experience with Ricardo Basbaum’s NBP (New Bases for Personality) object? You just have to accept to use the NBP, for up to one week, for performing a solitary or collective experience. The object can be signed out with the gallery sitter. If you document the experience through text, photography, video or audio, you can add your records to the NBP public archive at http://www.nbp.pro.br, and submit them to the Audain Gallery (at audaingallery@sfu.ca) for inclusion in the exhibition’s archive display.

Support Material


Artist Talk: Ricardo Basbaum
Wednesday, October 15, 6pm
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre


Images from the collective-conversation perfromance.