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Audemars Piguet - Audemars Piguet Brings Luminaries to Art Basel Miami

Audemars Piguet Audemars Piguet Brings Luminaries to Art Basel Miami

The Brand's third Art Commission is presented at Art Basel Miami Beach 2017.

Swiss watch brand Audemars Piguet has long been a supporter of the arts, as well as of conservation and other causes. For the past three years, the Le Brassus brand has been involved in Art Basel Miami and Art Basel in Switzerland, as well as in other projects. Now, the brand announces its third Art Commission – just in time for the early December Art Basel in Miami Beach event (December 6-10).  Joining forces with a California-based artist, the third Audemars Piguet art commission is entitled “Slow-Moving Luminaires” by Lars Jan.

Working in collaboration with artistic director and guest curator, Kathleen Forde, Audemars Piguet’s new exhibit with Lars Jan’s work is a large-scale installation that will be displayed on the Miami Beach ocean front – much like the brand’s first initiative three years ago with Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests. 

Lars Jan’s Slow-Moving Luminaries is being presented in a pavilion site spanning 100 feet by 50 feet.  The immersive kinetic exhibit hosts a labyrinth of space on two floors and invites visitors to traverse both decks – the lower one filled with a maze of flora and scrim, and the upper one a shallow reflection pool that will feature emerging and receding buildings (similar to a skyline). The buildings will rise out of the water at different speeds.

The concept, essentially, is to explore the conflict between states of meditation and crisis via manipulations of view, reality and change.  Visitors will participate or perform in an experiential adventure as they interact within the artistic installation.

Audemars Piguet illumine Art Basel Miami

Lars Jan © Audemars Piguet

According to Jan, this marks the fist time that he will not have control over the performers’ movements. “The piece will be totally experiential for the view and go beyond the simple act of contemplation,” says Jan. “It’s a visceral response to the water,” says Jan. “I find it exquisitely beautiful, but I have a kind of anxiety about it. I came into this commission thinking about time, but also the cycles of the planet versus the cycle of human behaviour and our built environment — the changing of our world converging with the changing of the biosphere.”

Guest curator, Kathleen Forde invited seven artist, including Jan, to submit ideas for the third Audemars Piguet Art Commission. Four of the artists were invited to the Audemars Piguet workshops to familiarize themselves with the brand and its values. Because Jan works in cross-disciplines, including performance, art and technology, he was able to conceive of something Audemars Piguet feels reflects its values and ideas. 

Audemars Piguet illumine Art Basel Miami

Kathleen Forde and Lars Jan © Audemars Piguet

The Audemars Piguet Art Commission was formed to help support global artists as they explore innovative methods of combining art, science and precision. In addition to monetary support, the Art Commission also equips the selected artist with state-of-the-art, sophisticated technology to help bring their works to fruition.

According to Olivier Audemars, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for Audemars Piguet. “Artists have a capacity to see things differently; as if they have special glasses that one can borrow and see what they can see. One of the reasons we were so impressed by Lars’ [work] is that it’s quite strongly linked to something that we know: our environment is very fragile.” 

The 39-year-old Lars Jan grew up on the East Coast in Massachusetts and then relocated to Los Angeles.  He is known as an activist, artist, designer, writer and filmmaker - all of which help him in the translation of reality to art and self-immersion. In addition to creating the Slow-Moving Luminaries and other important works such as Holoscenes and Abacus that have been presented in the Whitney Museum, Sundance Film Festival and other places, 

he founded the Early Morning Opera, a performance and art lab that explores techniques, live audience behavior and more.

The brand

Audemars Piguet is one of the few independent family-owned watch businesses and has been based in Le Brassus, in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux region, at the heart of the fine watchmaking industry, ever since the company was first established in 1875.

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