Thursday, September 24, 2015

Robin Meier, 1st Audemars Piguet Art Commission Artist, Selected For the 17th Fondation D’entreprise Ricard Prize

Robin Meier, the first artist to present the Audemars Piguet Art Commission, has been selected for the 17th Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard Prize. Robin Meier’s work Synchronicity was first displayed at the Volkshaus for Art Basel in Basel 2015 as the inaugural Audemars Piguet Art Commission under the guidance of guest curator Marc-Olivier Wahler. Wahler has chosen Meier’s installation Synchronicity, along with the work of seven other artists, to be displayed within the exhibition for the 17th Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard Prize in Paris, which opened on 15 September 2015.

Based on the theme ‘The order of fireflies’ Marc Olivier Wahler, curator of the 17th Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard Prize, has selected Robin Meier alongside other nominated artists including David Brognon and Stéphanie Rollin, Julien Dubuisson, Grace Hall, Florian Pugnaire and David Raffini, Thomas Teurlai. Katinka Bock, winner of the Fondation d'Entreprise Ricard Prize 2012 is also participating in the exhibition. The prize winner will be announced on 23 October 2015.
Robin Meier was selected as the first artist for the Audemars Piguet Art Commission and worked with renowned guest curator Marc-Olivier Wahler on the production of a major large-scale installation which focused on the principles of order in nature. Synchronicity, which is displayed in the 17th Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard Prize, explores the natural phenomena of how fireflies found in remote parts of the world flash bioluminescent light in unison.
Meier’s work takes the form of an abandoned greenhouse overflowing with nature. Once inside, the viewer is greeted by audio and visual pulses flooding the space in a rhythmic beat. The sounds of cricket chirps, metronome beats, water pumps and various other electronic materials seem to harmonise. In the work exhibited for the Audemars Piguet Art Commission, these systems harmonised with light emitted by hundreds of fireflies flying freely and flashing in unison. In this new instalment at the Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard, Meier’s work does not include live fireflies but the artist has created an immersive environment connecting various electronic devices, crickets and hundreds of laboratory grown plants with a pendulum’s relentless pulse. Within the piece, Meier has also integrated the footage from his experiments in Thailand with live fireflies synchronising so people can observe this mesmerising phenomenon through the screen.

Created in 1999, the Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard Prize was the first to be awarded to emerging talents in the young contemporary art scene. Its special feature is the purchase of a work by the winner which will appear in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou. In addition, the Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard offers the prize winner a chance to produce a personal project abroad in any medium.

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 Perrotin 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 has been 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. At Art Basel in Hong Kong 2015, Audemars Piguet announced Ruijun Shen as the guest curator for the Audemars Piguet Art Commission 2016 and at Art Basel in Basel 2015, the brand presented Synchronicity by Robin Meier, the first artist to present the Audemars Piguet Art Commission.

About the Audemars Piguet Art Commission
The Audemars Piguet Art Commission supports artists in the creation of works of exceptional complexity, precision and experiential impact on an ongoing, annual basis. The commissioned art works are overseen by an annual guest curator and selected by an international jury. They are presented to the public to coincide with Art Basel’s editions in Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami Beach, and subsequently, where possible, at a public art institution. As part of the Commission, Audemars Piguet provides to the invited artist the necessary resources and secures access to advanced tools, craft expertise, or sophisticated technology to realize important new creative projects.

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” (le Monde), “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. During the last twenty years, Marc-Olivier Wahler has organized over 400 exhibitions – principally as museum director / chief curator, but also as a free-lance curator. As an art critic, Marc-Olivier Wahler regularly writes on contemporary art and its theoretical problematic in international magazines and academic books. In 2011, he was decorated as a Chevalier in the French Republic’s Order of Arts and Letters. In 2013, Wahler was awarded the Meret Oppenheim Prize in Switzerland.

About the Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard Prize   
Created in 1999, the Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard Prize was the first to be awarded to emerging talents in the young contemporary art scene. Its special feature is the purchase of a work by the winner which will appear in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou. This pioneering approach has thus helped to develop the reputations of a large number of artists in France and abroad.

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