Jacqueline Uhlmann

Head of Administration and Communication of Liste - The Young Art Fair
Art Project Depot - Interviews - Jacqueline Uhlmann
Basel, July 6, 2011

At the discussion "What is an alternative-alternative of what ?", organized at Art Basel Fair voices were heard from the audience that the Liste festival was the real alternative and that an art fair that is essentially commercial cannot be expected to organize discussions of this kind. That is, an alternative could not be sought where market is the central concern. What is motivated the creation of Liste - was it really conceived as an alternative and, if so, how is the selection process of galleries done?

LISTE was a New Fair for a New Generation of Art: The motivation for founding the fair came out of the realization that, at the end of the 80s, a new and self-assured generation of gallerists and artists was coming up that, unfortunately, had little opportunity to secure a place at one of the established art fairs. Moreover, the prohibitive costs required for those fairs made it virtually impossible for many of those galleries to exhibit internationally. The new fair took on the task of introducing young galleries that played a role in the zeitgeist and represented important young artists of the 90s. The LISTE did not see itself as an oppositional force or competitor, but rather as a complement, to Art Basel, and, as such, decided to hold its fair parallel to Art Basel. In order to guarantee the fair a high level of artistic quality, an international selection committee of gallerists was put together, consisting of Emi Fontana (Milan), Maureen Paley, Interim Art (London), Anne de Villepoix (Paris), Tim Neuger, neugerriemschneider (Berlin), Peter Kilchmann (Zurich), Eva Presenhuber, Galerie Walcheturm (Zurich) as well as the manager of the fair, Peter Bläuer (Basel). The committee was, over the course of time, replaced by a jury comprised primarily of international curators who do not appear by name. Regarding where to hold the fair, the ideal venue was found at the Werkraum Warteck, which provided for a new, flexible and individual presentation of art.

LISTE still counts as a discoverer fair: discovering new galleries, new ideas and phenomena (of a younger generation). Every year LISTE introduces between 10 -15 newcomer galleries from all over the world.

LISTE still counts as a discoverer fair: discovering new galleries, new ideas and phenomena (of a younger generation). Every year LISTE introduces between 10-15 newcomer galleries from all over the world.

How does Liste Basel interact with the organizers of Art Basel?

Every ART Basel VIP card holder has free access to the fair LISTE. LISTE is part of the VIP Programm of ART Basel, but remains an independent art fair. We can count on the faithful partner ART Basel, based on the very friendly amietié.

Are there any ideas of extending the festival beyond the limits of the factory, in a simislar way as Art Parcours, since part of the artists whose work is shown on Liste are working site-specific installations, this making it possible to mount more impressive presentations?


Do you practise inviting galleries or artistic laboratories with interesting initiatives and activities in the domain of contemporary art, which have impressed the jury of Liste, or all prospective partcipants are required to apply themselves for participation?

Next to the applying galleries we also promote other initiatives and activites: Every year a Swiss or a Switzerland related instituion organizes an exhibition at LISTE promoting emerging artists. Invited institutions so far: Centre culturel suisse Paris, Swiss Institute New York, Museum Haus Konstrukiv Zurich among others. There is also the House of Electronic Arts Basel and the Kaskadenkondensator (exhibition space) as special guests. Sine 2004 the Nationale Suisse is showing its highly coveted art prize. This award is open to graduates of Swiss art colleges who have made majored in’visual art and media’. The newly redtoo Art Prize (since 2010) is open to galleries making a first appearnce at LISTE. An international expert jury will select the winning gallery from among the newcomer galleries. The prize includes payment of the gallery’s stand costs and the purchase of a work of art. This art prize einforces LISTE’s status as a promotion fair. And of course for 7 seven years LISTE has a performance programme, curated by young curators to support the local and international performance scene, including engage young curators.

What is your vision of the festival's future development, as compared with other similar events worldwide, and do you keep contact with other fairs of a similar kind?

Keep on promoting a consequential and important contribution to young artists and young galleries, showing interesting and outstanding art position and keep the high quality level of galleries and art.

Interview by Irina Batkova