Ricardo Basbaum, collective-conversation, 2013. Text, voices, live reading, live recording (with Daniela Mattos, Faia Díaz, Jesus Lopez Vilar [Vili], María Asunción, Arufe Carredano, Pedro de Llano, Ricardo Basbaum, Rocío Figueroa Guisande).

Ricardo Basbaum

For the month of October the Audain Visual Artist in Residence Program is partnering with Audain Gallery to present a project with Brazilian artist Ricardo Basbaum. The project combines an intensive class with Basbaum and exhibition. It is an unique opportunity for students and the community to work through Basbaum’s ideas about “collective conversation.”

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.

Basbaum lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. His work has been widely exhibited including 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.

School for Contemporary Arts Students have the opportunity to participate in an intensive course with Ricardo Basbaum and SCA Faculty member Sabine Bitter. This course offers students to work with Basbaum in relation to his exhibition The Production of the Artist as a Collective Conversation. Their participation is central to the accumulation of conversations, experiences, and audio, visual and print documents that comprise the exhibition at the Audain Gallery. Most of the classes actually take place within the gallery.

The course develops a conversation about what constitutes the image of the contemporary artist. Written exercises contribute to the development of the problem of how one produces oneself as an artist. The history of dematerialization in art practice from the 1960's, and the discussion of globalization that emerged in the 1980’s are considered and discussed. The group considers how the role and identity of the artist constructed in relation to various histories and to the prevailing movements of the moment such as institutional critique and relational aesthetics – including recent developments in media and mediation theory. A sound piece, combining writing and speech will be developed as outcome. This course is open to SCA students of all disciplines who are interested in how the artist is constructed, not only as role or identity, but as a production site.

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.


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

Exhibition: Audain Gallery, Vancouver
October 16 - December 13, 2014

Artist Talk

Wednesday, October 15, 6:00pm
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre

Opening Reception

Wednesday, October 15, 7:00pm
Audain Gallery


Wednesday October 29, 6:00pm
Audain Gallery

Exhibition Tour

Amy Kazymerchyk and Sabine Bitter
Saturday November 22, 1:00pm
Audain Gallery

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, and submit them to the Audain Gallery (at for inclusion in the exhibition’s archive display.

Presented with SFU Galleries.

Ricardo Basbaum with Adriana Lademann, Anchi Lin, Jasmine Huang, Kevin Jinn, Jasmine Kwong, Chris Ling, Stephanie Ng, Wan Hang Tsang, Daniela Molinari, Susan Bernal, Shannon McAllister, Abbey Hopkins, Irina Giri, Caroline Engelstad, Curtis Grahauer, Cydney Paddon, Lucien Durey, Margaux Cheung, Neo Tang, Arthur Lin, Deborah Edmeades, and Sabine Bitter: collective-conversation. Performance, Audain Gallery, 2014. Photo: Blaine Campbell.