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Art Basel 2017

Maldives-bound: Aitken’s pavilions

Geometric, mirrored sculptures shine a light on the ocean

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Los Angeles-based Doug Aitken, who is in Basel this week, tells us that his Underwater Pavilions are destined for an island in the Maldives. Because the South Asian archipelago has around 1,000 coral islands, selecting the best one is his new challenge.

Visitors to Unlimited can get a sense of the sculptures in a film called Underwater Pavilions (2017), produced by the artist in collaboration with the ocean conservation organisation Parley for the Oceans. It was filmed when the pavilions were moored off the coast of Los Angeles in late 2016.

The atmospheric film, which shows the geometric, mirrored sculptures attracting the curiosity of a passing seal as well as numerous fish, is being presented by his galleries Regen Projects, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Victoria Miro and 303 Gallery.

“One of the most liberating moments for me was when we made the Underwater Pavilions and we started to see the sea life growing on them and becoming a living ecosystem,” Aitken said.