Better Bring a Fork to Art Basel, Because Alison Knowles Will Make You a Salad

And don't forget your plate!

Alison Knowles Make A Salad (1962) Photo: Liz Ligon courtesy Friends of the High Line

This summer, Alison Knowles is making a salad—and she needs your help.

The legendary performance artist will be performing her seminal Make A Salad (1962) at Art Basel. However this is no ordinary meal. Performers will prepare various salad ingredients before emptying the contents onto a large tarp. Fair visitors and onlookers can participate by helping to toss the salad high into the air, before it is served.

“In a nutshell, what Alison does is [she] prepares and chops vegetables, mixes dressing, and basically makes a salad for the audience or participants in this performance,” Knowles’ gallerist James Fuentes explained in a telephone interview with artnet News.

Art Basel in Basel 2015 | General Impression Photo: © Art Basel

Art Basel in Basel 2015 | General Impression
Photo: © Art Basel

“Alison is a pioneer in performance art, and this food-related performance is sometimes cited as being a precursor of performances that we’re familiar within relational aesthetics,” he said. “Alison was at the forefront of these things and we’re really excited that she’s going to have the opportunity to present a very important work within her oeuvre within the context of Art Basel.”

The 82-year-old artist’s work will be performed in “Unlimited,” a platform which gives galleries and artists to display works that transcend the traditional art fair stand, such as large-scale sculptures, video projections, installations, or performance art.

Gianni Jetzer, a curator-at-large for the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, is curating “Unlimited” for the fifth consecutive year.

Alison Knowles Photo: Film still via YouTube

Alison Knowles
Photo: Film still via YouTube

Aside from Knowles’ performance, “Unlimited” will also included works by artists such as Ai Weiwei, El Anatsui, Elmgreen & Dragset, Tracey Emin, Isa Genzken, Mike Kelley, William Kentridge, Pamela Rosenkranz, and many others.


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