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Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet is delighted to announce the details of its 3rd Art Commission, realised by Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist Lars Jan, in collaboration with artistic director and guest curator Kathleen Forde. The large-scale immersive installation entitled Slow-Moving Luminaries will be shown this year at Art Basel in Miami Beach.

Audemars Piguet will unveil its 3rd Art Commission on the Miami Beach oceanfront to coincide with Art Basel in Miami Beach (6-10 December 2017). The Audemars Piguet Art Commission’s aim is to contribute to global artistic innovation by supporting artists who explore ideas related to complexity, precision, technology and science. Audemars Piguet not only provides the financial support to develop and present each project, it also gives the selected artist access to the advanced tools, craft expertise and sophisticated technology necessary to realise the finished artwork.

Slow-Moving Luminaries will take the form of an immersive and kinetic large-scale pavilion that will host a labyrinth within. Presented on a site spanning 100 by 50 feet, the work will invite viewers to partake in a journey across its upper and lower decks. Standing in stark contrast from one another, the lower deck will boast an extravagant maze of scrim and flora, and the upper deck a shallow, reflective pool of water, through which building models that mimic the surrounding skyline will emerge and recede in concert, but at varying speeds throughout the day. The artist notes: ‘It’s a visceral response to the water — 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’.

This major new work will examine the oscillating conflict between an individual’s state of meditation and that of crisis—both internal and external. Within the work, Jan will manipulate scale and temporality, presenting viewers with a reality that can be experienced beyond the day-to-day and allowing them to become participants, choreographing the experience freely. Jan comments: ‘the 3rd Audemars Piguet Art Commission will see its viewers act as performers, becoming a part of the piece as they interact with it.

The performance will be spontaneous and remain unscripted, allowing the viewers to set their own pace. This is the first time I will not have control over my performers’ movements. The piece will be totally experiential for the viewer and go beyond the simple act of contemplation’.

Lars Jan was one of seven artists invited by guest curator Kathleen Forde to submit an idea for the 3rd Audemars Piguet Art Commission, four of whom were shortlisted for the Commission. The shortlisted artists were invited to the Vallée de Joux in Switzerland to familiarise themselves with the brand’s origins and values. Known for his cross-disciplinary experiments in performance, art, and technology, the artist Lars Jan describes his collaboration with Audemars Piguet saying: ‘They’re really courageous — they put the art first and value the concepts and ideas that are part of the work’.

Kathleen Forde, guest curator of the 2017 project speaks of the artist as ‘the perfect fit for this year’s Art Commission. His art mirrors the complexity, precision, technology and science that defines Audemars Piguet’.
Olivier Audemars, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, says: ‘As a company, we want to be transformed by art. Artists have a capacity to see things differently; as if they have special glasses that one can borrow and see what they can see’. He reflects on the upcoming project: ‘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. We are just a little part of the history of the earth and the universe, and it’s up to us to find a solution to continue to exist’.