Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet will unveil today its 3rd Art Commission, Slow-Moving Luminaries, at Art Basel in Miami Beach 2017.
The large-scale immersive installation by multidisciplinary artist Lars Jan is overseen by 2017 commission guest-curator Kathleen Forde. Slow-Moving Luminaries is the artist’s response to the struggle experienced between a state of contemplation and one of crisis.
For the 3rd Audemars Piguet Art Commission, Lars Jan manipulates scale and temporality, offering audiences a chance to face these conflicting mind-sets and contemplate a reality that can be experienced beyond the day to day. Slow-Moving Luminaries will allow its visitors to become participants in the work, choreographing their own experience freely and turning into part of the installation as they pass through it.
Lars Jan says about his inspirations: ‘A philosophy rooted in time itself has been a deeply personal matter for me since I can remember. I came into this commission focusing on time and the cycles of the planet versus the cycle of human behaviour and our built environment’.
Spanning over 100 by 50 feet on the Miami Beach oceanfront, the installation will take the form of a large-scale immersive, kinetic pavilion presented on two levels. As visitors walk into the structure, they will be directed through a labyrinth of scrim and flora as they navigate within. The lower level will be populated with a series of minimalist building-like sculptures that rise and fall through the upper and lower decks on mechanical lifts. Visitors will be invited off the main passageways to view further floating buildings through glass windows, a series of light boxes, and a film featuring captivating images of a building deluged in the ocean, which will create an optical tension when viewed alongside the models in motion.
Completing the journey, visitors will be led up a stairway and onto the upper deck, where they will find a reflective pool of water, covering the roof of the labyrinth. Through a series of apertures, the floating buildings will appear to breach the surface, or to sink below it. A full miniature skyline will emerge, echoing the buildings lining the Miami Beach shore.
Viewers may also come to realise that the path traced on the ground floor spells out the letters ‘SOS’, a reference to the international maritime signal for distress. A pair of SOS maritime flags will also flutter from the upper viewing platform. Shifting fields of LED light will transform the work as darkness falls, making the installation an evolving destination that is as dramatic during the night as it is during the day. Audiences are invited to enter the installation after dusk to experience the full impact of the illuminated work.
The Audemars Piguet Art Commission’s aim is to contribute to global artistic innovation by supporting contemporary artists who explore ideas related to complexity, precision, technology and science. Audemars Piguet not only provides financial support to develop and present each project, it also gives the artist access to the advanced tools, craft expertise and sophisticated technology necessary to realise the finished artwork.
Artist Lars Jan continues: “Audemars Piguet has been a unique and surprising collaborator not only in terms of the generosity of resources and the supportive working relationship we’ve had from the start, but also for the freedom they’ve given me to realise my vision for the commission. It is this foundational synchrony that has made this mammoth challenge a total pleasure.”
Kathleen Forde, guest curator, says: ‘I’ve had a wonderful experience working with Lars Jan and the Audemars Piguet team. Being involved from start to finish and watching the project come to life has been rewarding and fun. The collaboration between the artist and Audemars Piguet has been an incredibly thoughtful one, and it has resulted in something quite spectacular.”
Olivier Audemars, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, says: ‘Art has become a constant source of inspiration for Audemars Piguet. It allows us to look at the world from a different perspective, which can be life changing for many. We love to support artists and help their fantastic ideas come to life. After all, there are innumerable parallels between contemporary art and the artistry and craft at the heart of our timepieces. Our evolution has enabled us to consider and support craftsmanship beyond our own work in the Vallée de Joux and it is wonderful to be a part of this journey.”
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