There are two art-and-architecture works around the Biozentrum building: the installation "Vita Parcours (Life Science)" by the well-known Basel artist Christoph Büchel and the work "Beautiful Steps #16" by the pair of artists Lang/Baumann from Bern. Both installations were created as part of an art-and-architecture competition organized by the “Credit for Art” (Kunstkredit) Basel-Stadt in collaboration with the Department of Construction and Transport.
© Department of Culture of Basel-Stadt photo Serge Hasenböhler
"Vita Parcours (Life Science)"
Christoph Büchel (*1966) built a functional Vitaparcours around the Biozentrum. One of the six stations is located inside the building and here at this point, at the latest, it becomes obvious that this Vitaparcours must be a special intervention. The multi-layered project plays with conceptual conciseness with the dimensions of meaning of the Biozentrum, which is dedicated to the study of life (Greek bios, Latin vita). At the same time, it creates an immediate participatory setting: an invitation to use the gym equipment.
The artist Christoph Büchel knows how to exploit the provocative potential of everyday objects staged as works of art. In 2018, for example, he declared the eight prototypes of Donald Trump's planned border wall between the U.S. and Mexico “a Land Art exhibition” and organized sight-seeing tours there. Or, at the 2019 Venice Biennale, he turned a shipwrecked refugee ship into an art object and thus into an oppressive memorial.
© Department of Culture of Basel-Stadt, photo David Berweger
«Beautiful Steps #16»
The sculpture "Beautiful Steps #16" by the pair of artists L/B (Sabina Lang, *1972 and Daniel Baumann, *1967) from Burgdorf also plays with our perception. Thanks to its metaphorical power, the approximately ten-meter-long ladder, which is clearly visible in the entrance hall and yet inaccessible, allows for very different individual interpretations. The ladder impressively demonstrates the relationship between the volume of space and the human being and invites the viewer to mentally climb it − after all, there are still 70 meters of building above it.
The artist pair Lang/Baumann has realized a multitude of art-and-architecture installations in Germany and abroad. Their works are characterized by a playfully alienated design aesthetic. Their mobile "Hotel Everland", for example, which stood on stilts in Lake Neuchâtel during Expo.02 and offered the ultimate exclusivity of a one-room hotel, is still remembered.