Art Basel Parcours 2024
Verein Bajour on Clarastrasse 10, Basel
10 – 16 June 2024

ChertLüdde and Daniel Faria Gallery are pleased to present Search for Life, an installation by Stephanie Comilang expanding one her film of the same title, which explores the movement of humans, animals, and plants through processes shaped by colonization and globalization. Search for Life is a work in the form of a diptych commissioned by TBA21, Sharjah Art Foundation and The Vega Foundation. The film draws connections between cargo ship routes and Filipino seafarers, the migratory patterns of Painted Lady and Monarch butterflies who travel over 9,500 miles a year split over six generations, and Spanish trade routes established during the country’s colonization of the Philippines from 1565 to 1898.

The installation in the window vitrine consists of new piña fabric sculptures and an imported cut floral installation. Piña is a traditional textile from the Philippines, made from the leaves of pineapple plants that lend the material its name in Spanish—the language of the former colonizers of the archipelago. The artist has embroidered the fabric sculptures with butterfly and flower motifs, which narrate the insects’ migratory patterns as well as colonial trade routes. The flowers in the installation are all imported to Switzerland and sold at wholesale markets. For instance, Alpinia purpurata, or red ginger, is native to Malaysia, but today grows in Guadeloupe, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Suriname, and other places steeped in histories of colonization; and the Monstera deliciosa, an abundant house plant, was first brought to Europe from Central and South America by colonizers in the 16th century. Comilang’s works weave together migration, ecology, and intergenerational storytelling to envision possible futures.

Installation views by Andrea Rossetti
Repros by Marjorie Brunet Plaza