The Nights of the Smiling Moons
Curated by Chus Martínez
As part of Friday Beyeler
Fondation Beyeler, Riehen / Basel
Following a series of 14 performance evenings in fall 2022, in collaboration with the Institute Art Gender Nature, Friday Beyeler continues with a second season. Until 12 May 2023, the Fondation Beyeler will be open every Friday evening until 9pm. Visitors are invited to discover the works of Wayne Thiebaud in guided tours, workshops, and the painting studios of the museum.
The Nights of the Smiling Moons will take place one Friday evening each month as part of Friday Beyeler. Curated by Chus Martínez, these evenings of music, poetry, and dance are a continuation of the collaboration between the lecturers and students of the Institute of Art Gender Nature and the Fondation Beyeler.
With an installation by Kathrin Siegrist.
Friday 17 March 2023, 6 – 7.30 pm
How much such a little moon can do!
Raffaela Boss, Susi Hinz, Ingo Niermann, Maria Sabato, Aqui Thami, Anja Wegner
Friday 14 April 2023, 6 – 7.30 pm
The Moons Glow the Same!
Isadora Alves, Salphinah Savin, Catherin Schöberl, and Emily Mary Whitaker; Ingo Niermann, Maria Sabato, and Fabio Sonego
Friday 12 May 2023, 6 – 7.30 pm
The Sun and the Moon as the Place to Live.
Sophie Jung, Manuela Morales, Ingo Niermann, Jacob Ott, Catherin Schöberl & Emily Mary Whitaker
During the Meiji period, a time of cultural renaissance in Japan, the novelist Natsume Sōseki recounts how the sentence “The moon is beautiful tonight, isn’t it?” means “I love you.” That is one of the beautiful reasons why we have created a series of monthly performance events with the moon in its title; the other reason is that there is no single culture indifferent to the moon, just as there should be no world indifferent to art and artists. Thus will The Nights of the Smiling Moons, a continuing collaboration between the Fondation Beyeler and Institute Art Gender Nature HGK Basel FHNW, comprise three monthly micro-festivals, curated by Chus Martínez, held on Friday nights beginning in March.
This spring at Fondation Beyeler, in addition to the permanent collection, and the installation by Doris Salcedo, the museum will also host an encompassing exhibition of the work of American painter Wayne Thiebaud. Thiebaud was an artist seduced by how everyday objects can convey a sense of sweetness, of a life without trouble. It is easy to imagine that in the past this may have been perceived as uncritical; today, however, his work can also be read as the wish to introduce gentleness and issues of care and safety into one of the most imposing artistic languages of his time: painting. Japanese culture might suggest that Thiebaud’s painting has a kawaii dimension, a sense of cuteness that makes you immediately relate to it as an object and a situation.
For these reasons, and within these conditions, The Nights of the Smiling Moons will feature a sort of theatrical paravent-like structure that will act as a stage in the foyer of Fondation Beyeler. This stage will situate both performers and audience under a series of smiling moons that will transform our mood—thanks to music, poetry, performance, and dance. It’s a simple but beautiful scenario to help us gather together and have a great time.
The exhibition Wayne Thiebaud is on view at Fondation Beyeler until 21 May 2023.