Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Swiss Artist, Robin Meier, Selected to Present the Inaugural Audemars Piguet Art Commission In 2015

Prestigious luxury watch manufacture Audemars Piguet has announced that Swiss artist and composer Robin Meier has been selected as the first artist to present the Audemars Piguet Art Commission. Meier will work with the commission’s renowned guest curator Marc-Olivier Wahler and Audemars Piguet, on the production of a major new artwork to be unveiled at Art Basel in Basel, in June 2015. Based on the theme of “synchronicity” and the spontaneous emergence of cycles in nature, Meier’s installation will meaningfully connect seemingly unrelated concepts and objects into a single beating pulse.

Meier’s sound works and installations focus on natural and artificial intelligence as a form of self-organization or collective intelligence. Through the help of specialized laboratories and scientists, he investigates how order emerges from chaos and uses scientific research as a tool to express artistic ideas. For the inaugural Audemars Piguet Art Commission, Meier will create a large-scale installation, which will connect disparate fields by harmonizing music, fireflies, bioluminescent bacteria and crickets to a common pulse. All of these self-synchronizing organisms and systems will beat together, as if driven by a single rhythmic force, filling the entire exhibition space with a unique pulsating rhythm. Meier’s interest in temporal patterns echoes the harmonious conformity manifested in the intricate mechanics of Audemars Piguet's timepieces.
Robin Meier, the first artist to present the AudemarsPiguet Art Commission, photo credit: Alexander Gorbunov
Meier was invited to the brand’s home, in Le Brassus, Switzerland, to learn about the brand’s 140-year tradition of precision, expert craftsmanship, and innovation. The artist was selected for his groundbreaking work, which presents a strong connection to the craftsmanship, forward thinking, and technical excellence inherent to Audemars Piguet's historic legacy of watchmaking. Meier’s new large-scale sound installation will stand out among the cultural offerings presented at the 45th edition of the Basel show, mirroring Audemars Piguet’s pioneering spirit.

The Tragedy of the Commons (2011), by Robin Meier and Ali Momeni, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, photo credit: AurélieCenno
Working in collaboration with the internationally renowned curator Marc-Olivier Wahler, Audemars Piguet has been closely involved in helping to develop Meier’s project. A defining aspect of the Audemars Piguet Commission is that it not only provides resources to realise new works, but also creates links to special expertise required to construct the new commission. In this instance, Audemars Piguet has forged connections to research scientists and organisations such as the Swiss based Papiliorama Foundation which raises awareness of the tropical forests and biodiversity. Meier will work alongside the Papiliorama Foundation with artist André Gwerder and a selected group of highly specialized scientific collaborators from the fields of genetic engineering, computer science, firefly breeding, cricket chorusing, bioacoustics and cognitive sciences to guide his new commission.

Marc-Olivier Wahler, the project’s guest curator is the founder and director of the Chalet Society, in Paris. A native of Switzerland, Wahler has a strong cultural affinity to the evolution of the Swiss Haute Horology and brings the experience of organising over 400 exhibitions over the last 20 years to Audemars Piguet’s first Art Commission project.

After the first work is unveiled at Art Basel in Basel, in June 2015, annual commissions will be presented on rotating basis at all international locations of Art Basel, including in Hong Kong, in 2016, in Miami Beach, in 2017, and returning to Basel in 2018.

Audemars Piguet and Art
Audemars Piguet has always sought to integrate creative vision with superb artistry and technical mastery. There are many parallels between contemporary art and the artistry, craft, technical mastery and innovative approach at the heart of Audemars Piguet’s timepieces. In 2013, Audemars Piguet extended its innovation and spirit of independence by becoming a global associate partner of Art Basel, the world’s premier contemporary art fair. For the Art Basel 2013 shows, Audemars Piguet commissioned new work by British photographer Dan Holdsworth and worked with Galerie Perrot in on ‘Curiosity’, a pop-up installation by French art duo Kolkoz for Art Basel in Miami Beach. At Art Basel’s May 2014 show in Hong Kong, Audemars Piguet unveiled a new booth in the Collectors’ Lounge created by leading French designer Mathieu Lehanneur as well as a new panoramic film by Austrian video artist Kurt Hentschläger. Evolving with each new location, Lehanneur’s lounge concept will be presented at Art Basel’s shows in 2014 and 2015. In May 2014, Audemars Piguet announced the Audemars Piguet Art Commission as a key piece in their expanding activities in the sphere of contemporary art. For Art Basel in Miami Beach, December 2014, Audemars Piguet partnered with the Peabody Essex Museum to present Theo Jansen’s kinetic ‘Strandbeests.’ In connection to this, Audemars Piguet also displayed the photographic tributes to the Dutch artist and his creations by Lena Herzog. These photographs were displayed at Audemars Piguet’s innovative new beachside lounge in honour of her new book, published by TASCHEN, Strandbeest: The Dream machines of Theo Jansen.

About the Audemars Piguet Art Commission
The Audemars Piguet Art Commission is an innovative project which supports artists in the creation of works of exceptional complexity, precision and experiential impact on an ongoing, annual basis. The newly commissioned art works will be presented to the public to coincide with Art Basel’s editions at a public art institution. As part of the Commission, Audemars Piguet will provide the necessary resources for selected artists and secures access to advanced tools, craft expertise, or sophisticated technology to realize important new creative projects.

About Art Basel
Art Basel stages the world’s premier art shows for Modern and contemporary works, sited in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. In addition to ambitious stands featuring leading galleries from around the globe, each show’s singular exhibition sectors spotlight the latest developments in the visual arts, offering visitors new ideas, new inspiration, and new contacts in the art world.

About Robin Meier
Robin Meier is a Swiss artist and composer based in Paris. His interests lie in the emergence of natural and artificial intelligence and the role of humans in a world of machines. Meier tries to make sense of these questions through musical compositions and installations. Referred to as “Artist of the future” (leMonde), “Maestro of the swarm” (Nature) or just "pathetic" (Vimeo), his works have been shown around the globe in international institutions such as Palais de Tokyo and Museum of Modern Art in Paris, SIGGRAPH in Yokohama , Nikola Lenivets in Moscow or SoundReasons in New Delhi.

About Marc-Olivier Wahler
Marc-Olivier Wahler is the founder and current director of Chalet Society, (Paris, 2012-present). He is the former director of Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2006-2012), former director of Swiss Institute (New  York,2000-2006), founding director of CAN (Neuchâtel, 1995-2000), and founding editor of Palais/ Magazine. As an art critic, Marc-Olivier Wahler regularly writes on contemporary art and its theoretical problematic in numerous publications, both in international magazines and academic books. His articles on the form of the exhibition and the ways we currently speak about art are the subjects of numerous conferences. In 2011, he was decorated as a Chevalier in the French Republic's Order of Arts and Letters.

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