Conversations, Art Basel’s talks series, will bring together leading artists, gallerists, collectors, art historians, curators, museum directors and critics from across the world. Programmed by Mari Spirito, Founding Director of Protocinema, this year’s Conversations will present 19 talks that feature prominent artworld figures including Agustín Arteaga, Yto Barrada, Stefania Bortolami, José Carlos Diaz, Jordan Casteel, Teju Cole, Füsun Eczacıbaşı, Charles Gaines, Juan A. Gaitán, Alberto Ibargüen, Arthur Jafa, Pamela Joyner, Isaac Julien, Daniel Knorr, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Anne Pasternak and Thaddaeus Ropac among many others. Art Basel, whose Lead Partner is UBS, takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center from December 7 to December 10, 2017. 

The program will begin on Thursday, December 7 with the Premiere Artist Talk with Charles Gaines (b. 1944) who will have a site-specific commission at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Miami and discuss his work with Bryan Stevenson. Further artist talks will take place throughout the week, including a discussion with Lars Jan (b. 1978) and Isaac Julien (b. 1960) on how artists respond to climate change through their practices, and Yto Barrada (b. 1971) and Daniel Knorr (b. 1968) in conversation with Philipp Kaiser, Curator of Art Basel’s Public sector, on art in public territories.

‘Is Culture in the Americas in Big Trouble?’ will address the current threats to art and culture in the midst of a major conservative shift in politics and changes in economies. In light of recent trends in the art market, ‘Global Business Models’ will discuss the different ways in which museums and galleries are responding to the increasing pressure to participate in the global artworld, while ‘Is Innovation Enough for Middle-Market Galleries?’ will explore the rise in new itinerant gallery models and communal sharing systems. ‘Beyond Collecting: What is Patronage?’ will focus on collectors who have been expanding their participation in art in different ways over the past years, discussing their approach to commissioning new works, opening foundations and supporting museums and publications.

Other highlights include ‘LA/LA and Institutional Collaboration’, which will use Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA as a reference point to examine how institutions can encourage the growth of regional art scenes; ‘Digital Museums and Virtual Audiences’, focusing on digital innovation and how new technology is starting to leave a deeper mark on the museum world; and ‘I Was Raised on the Internet’, which brings together curators from three major institutions that collaborate on exhibitions investigating the effects of the Internet on contemporary art.

Conversations is held daily from Thursday, December 7 to Sunday, December 10 at the Banyan Room in the Botanical Garden. The program is open to the public and free of charge. All Conversations panels will also be live streamed on Art Basel’s YouTube channel and on the show’s website: artbasel.com/miamibeach/conversations.

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