Siren Songs / Sinister Sirens

Siren Songs / Sinister Sirens

Online Viewing Room

Jun 12, 2023 6:00 PM


Oct 27, 2023 6:00 PM


Baloise Kunstforum

Aeschengraben 33

4051 Basel

Mitwirkende Künstler

12th of June until 27th of October 2023
Opening 15th of June, 6 to 9 pm
Art Forum Baloise Park Aeschengraben 33 4051 Basel

Mitchell Anderson, Nicole Bachmann, Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press, Bruce Nauman, Marlene McCarty, Sam Porritt & Vittorio Santoro

Curated by Arianna Gellini & Linda Jensen
!Please note this exhibition is not held at Last Tango!

Opening Hours during Art Basel
The exhibition will be open from Monday June 12th 2023
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm

Siren Songs / Sinister Sirens is an exhibition that explores language and how its use impacts us in resounding, counterintuitive and unruly ways. Language, in its potential  to incite a sense of agency – explicitly or implicitly – is a force to be reckoned with. The exhibition brings together seven positions that engage with topics inherently and strongly connected to agency, such as action, power, ethics, social constructs, and morality through the use of language, be it textually, sculpturally, bodily, or symbolically.

Human agency is commonly understood as the capacity to act upon one’s individual powers and engage and deal with the pressing realities that surround us. In Steps to an Ecology of Mind anthropologist, linguist, and social scientist Gregory Bateson asks the following: “Consider a blind man with a stick. Where does the blind man's self begin? At the tip of the stick? At the handle of the stick? Or at some point halfway up the stick?” Taking many forms as well as being tricky to situate and measure, human agency “extends beyond the skin”meaning that it commonly goes beyond the self, requiring collective effort as well as “mediational means” such as language. To what degree do we feel that we are an agent in making a difference? What hinders us from acting rightfully? Are we sure this is right? Is agency intentional and does it have to be effective?

Emboldened to make a case that artworks are not merely capsules of morality or affirmations, Siren Songs / Sinister Sirens asserts the transformative capacity of art as it can make us stop in our tracks for a moment and question our subjectivity, our place in the world, and our willingness to act or follow. The artworks in the exhibition univocally revere language and tune in to its potential for ambiguity, vulnerability, playfulness, subversion, and slipperiness – and invite us to do the same.

Art Forum Baloise Park

Baloise has a long-standing tradition of promoting talented people and helping them to embark on a long-term career. The Company has supported young artists through its Baloise Art Prize for more than 20 years. Now, it is going a step further by opening Art Forum Baloise Park to young curators.

Art provides a space for reflection and a lens through which to view the world in a different way. It enriches our lives and stimulates discussion. Baloise has been collecting art for many decades, driven by a desire to make a valuable contribution to its corporate culture and to society in general, rather than to seek a return on its investment. Baloise exhibits around 1,700 works from its collection in the Art Forum, which is open to the public on weekdays, and throughout its offices, meeting rooms, hallways and the exhibition areas on the ground floor of its new head office.

Encouraging an understanding and enjoyment of art is as much a part of the corporate culture as fostering young and emerging talent, both by acquiring new pieces for the collection and by awarding the Baloise Art Prize.

The principle of supporting talent also underpins the exhibitions at Art Forum Baloise Park. Young curators are given access to Baloise’s premises for a period of six months to share their recently acquired expertise with a wider public. During this time, they are advised by experienced art advisor Frédérique Hutter.

In addition to the defined exhibition theme and the support of an experienced exhibition organiser, the young curators have a comprehensive structure at their disposal: a collection of 1,700 works of art (from which at least one piece is to be shown in the exhibition), professional art handling, documentation, advertising, the dissemination of information and related communications, all of which are part of Baloise’s commitment.


Thursday June 15th 2023, 6 to 9 pm
Several of the artists will be present. Reception with drinks and light food.

Walkthrough with Artists Mitchell Anderson & Sam Porritt
Wednesday August 23rd 2023, 12 pm

Walkthrough with Artists Nicole Bachmann & Vittorio Santoro
Monday October 23rd 2023, 12 pm

Guided Tours with Curators Arianna Gellini & Linda Jensen
Wednesday June 21st 2023, 12 pm
Wednesday October 25th 2023, 12 pm

All tours are in English.
Following all tours, lunch will be available for purchase at the in-house bistro.
Registration requested:

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm

Opening Hours during Art Basel
The exhibition will be open from Monday June 12th 2023
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm

Contact Baloise:

Please contact Linda Jensen at for hires images

Externer Link: