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BMW Art Journey winner Zac Langdon-Pole presents new artwork and celebrates book premiere at Soho House Art Talk. BMW is official partner of Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019.
18.11.2019 Press Release
Miami Beach. From December 5 to 8, 2019, the Art Basel show in Miami Beach will present a wide range of artistic oeuvres by emerging and established artists represented by 269 leading international galleries presenting modern and contemporary art. The BMW Art Journey will present new work from last year’s recipient Zac Langdon-Pole at the BMW Lounge, located in the Collectors Lounge area. Langdon-Pole´s publication will be launched.
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Miami Beach. From December 5 to 8, 2019, the Art
Basel show in Miami Beach will present a wide range of artistic
oeuvres by emerging and established artists represented by 269 leading
international galleries presenting modern and contemporary art. The
BMW Art Journey, a joint initiative between Art Basel and BMW, will
present new work from last year’s recipient Zac
Langdon-Pole at the BMW Lounge, located in the Collectors
Lounge area. Langdon-Pole´s publication documenting his journey will
be launched during an exclusive Soho House & BMW i Art Talk on
December 3, 2019. As a long-term global partner of the show, BMW will
again offer the VIP shuttle service. Street artist Spencer
“MAR“ Guilburt will embark on the BMW 8 Series
Mural Tour throughout the city of Miami, documented
BMW Art Journey “Sutures of the Sky” by Zac Langdon-Pole
Last year’s BMW Art Journey recipient Zac Langdon-Pole (represented by Michael Lett, Auckland) will be in Miami Beach presenting new artwork and the publication “Constellations” on his BMW Art Journey. The trajectory of Zac Langdon-Pole’s BMW Art Journey, titled “Sutures of the Sky”, took him back in time by exploring how people have mapped the stars throughout history. Long before the compass and the sextant, it was skillful observation of migratory birds and following the stars which allowed Polynesian voyagers to navigate great distances all across the Pacific Ocean. With his focus on celestial mapping, from Europe to the Pacific Islands, Langdon-Pole sought to trace how Western forms of mapping have interacted with perspectives from the Pacific region.
“The BMW Art Journey allowed me to research the idea of time and navigation as well as how humans have tried to map their place in the universe over the millennia. I was compelled by the idea that something as lofty and laden with awe as the stars could be a useful lens through which to explore more human and planetary truths. An important realization for me on this journey has been to see multiple forms of mapping in relation to one another. This is how richer, more complex stories and relationships to a place can be formed”, states Zac Langdon-Pole reflecting on his travels.
Weaving through Western Europe, and the Pacific islands of Hawai’i, the Marshall Islands, Samoa and New Zealand from December 2018 to March 2019, his BMW Art Journey sought to understand how culture intersects with the science of celestial mapping, and consequently how it transcends into larger existential inquiries about our identities and our location in this increasingly globalized world.
From London, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Dordrecht to Paris, Montignac, and Marseille the first leg of Langdon-Pole’s journey provided a site for preliminary research on early printed star charts and representations of celestial mapping between different regions. In London, the artist visited the Royal Academy’s “Oceania” exhibition, including works by indigenous artists and craftsmen spanning 500 years that demonstrate the astounding mobility of people in the Pacific Islands throughout history. In France Langdon-Pole viewed a prehistoric map of the night sky situated within the Lascaux caves near Montignac. It dates back at least 16,500 years, depicting star constellations that were believed to keep track of astronomical events. The research and travel during this leg of the BMW Art Journey examined how the star systems of the Southern Hemisphere were imagined from a European perspective across various historical periods.
The second leg of the artist’s journey kicked off in Hawai’i, where the artist visited Mauna Kea and Honolulu. The Mauna Kea Observatories, located at the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawai’i, offered Langdon-Pole the opportunity to explore the presence and mediated dominance of Western astronomy as a starting point in the Pacific Ocean. While these observatories represent the pinnacle of scientific and technological engagement with the stars, the artist explored how their presence is entwined with fraught opposition by indigenous Hawaiians.
Furthermore, Langdon-Pole traveled to the Marshall Islands to meet with Alson Kelen of the organization Waan Aelõñ in Majel (Canoes of the Marshall Islands) (WAM) on the atoll of Majuro. In doing so the artist aimed to learn how connections to these past traditions can tie to the future of these islands in the context of rising sea levels. Amongst delving into star navigation methods of the region, the artist also researched the Mattang, Meddo and Rebbelib ‘stick charts’ that map the wave currents and ocean swells throughout the 34 islands and atolls of the Marshall Islands archipelago.
Before heading back to New Zealand to conduct further research and
consolidate his work, Langdon-Pole visited the island of Upolu and
Apia in Samoa. He travelled together with Samoan-New Zealand artist
and composer Michael Lee to learn about the traditions of celestial
Zac Langdon-Pole at Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019
Zac Langdon-Pole will be on the ground at Art Basel in Miami Beach to present new artwork at the BMW Lounge. The presentation will debut a new body of work that stems directly from his research on the BMW Art Journey. Throughout his travels Langdon-Pole collected small samples of sand from specified locations. Then, using an analogue photographic method in a darkroom, he utilized these samples to make photograms of sand from each specified location. Sand is a material with deeply metaphorical associations—from being an analogy for time, as with an hour-glass, to the infinite, as in Jorge Luis Borges’s short story “The Book of Sand”, to loss and entropy, as in Paul Celan’s poetry collection, “The Sand from the Urns”.
In a wider context, Langdon-Pole considers these works as lyrical documents of sites threatened by the prevailing forces of climate breakdown: the erosion of shorelines and the desertification of landscapes. Resembling a view of a starry night-sky, complete with data on the date and place each sand sample was collected, Langdon-Pole’s sand photograms extend the aphorism ‘as above so below’ towards speculative futures of our planet’s changing climate.
Also presented will be a piece by Langdon-Pole entitled
“Orbits” (2019). Consisting of a pair of human anatomical
(orbital) eye models, Langdon-Pole has replaced the eyeball component
of each model with carved and polished spheres of varying materials.
In one is a sphere of jasper embedded with numerous fossilized
Turritella shells (approximately 250 million years old), juxtaposed
with a sphere of rainbow obsidian. Rainbow obsidian is rock formed
from volcanic lava that has cooled rapidly. Obsidian is extremely
opaque, and rainbow or sheen obsidian— as it is also known—contains
naturally forming nanorod crystals that reveal iridescent rings of
color when struck by light. With their paired juxtapositions,
Langdon-Pole’s “Orbits” convey varying orders of time,
suggesting an elapsed duration or perhaps the unending flows and
transformations of earthly matter.
Soho House & BMW i Art Talk “Stargazing – a conversation about art and space” on December 3, 2019 at 7.30 PM with Zac Langdon-Pole, Sanford Biggers and Terry Virts
As part of an ongoing collaboration, Soho House and BMW i have co-created an international program of events and experiences throughout Soho House locations in Europe and North America with panelists including Chris Dercon, Christian Marclay, Abigail Reynolds, Jon Rafman, and David Adjaye.
The iteration of the series during Art Basel in Miami Beach will focus on artistic narratives around constellations in space and cosmos. Panelists are Zac Langdon-Pole, last year´s BMW Art Journey recipient, visual artist Sanford Biggers and Terry Virts, former NASA astronaut and ISS commander, moderated by András Szántó. The event will feature the launch of the Hatje Cantz-published book, “Constellations”, which documents Langdon-Pole’s BMW Art Journey. The panel discussion will be followed by a cocktail reception.
BMW 8 Series Mural Tour with Alexandre Arrechea and Spencer “MAR“ Guilburt
Paying homage to Miami as a hub for street art, BMW partnered up with street artist Spencer “MAR” Guilburt and visual artist Alexandre Arrechea. The two atists will go on a tour with the all-new BMW 8 Series, to visit murals in the city of Miami – partly created by Guilburt – as well as artworks of Arrechea exhibited at Nara Roesler Gallery’s booth at Art Basel in Miami Beach. Their unfolding conversation will explore intersections and respective inspirations of their practices. The murals are located across Miami, from Wynwood Art District to South Beach and the Midtown Design District. The BMW 8 Series Mural Tour will be shared on the social media channels of the artists (@this_means, @alexandrearrechea) and via BMW Group Cultural Engagement (@bmwgroupculture).
BMW is a global partner of Art Basel and has supported Art Basel’s three shows in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong for many years.
For further questions please contact:
Prof. Dr Thomas Girst
BMW Group Corporate and Intergovernmental Affairs
Head of Cultural Engagement
Telephone: +49 89 382 247 53
Art Basel Global
Head of Media Relations
Telephone: +41 58 206 27 06
About BMW Art Journey
Launched in 2015, the BMW Art Journey is a collaboration between Art Basel and BMW, created to recognize and support emerging artists worldwide. This unique award is open to artists who are exhibiting in the Discoveries sector during Art Basel in Hong Kong. A judging panel comprised of internationally renowned experts meet first to select a shortlist of three artists from the sector, who are then invited to submit proposals for a journey aimed to further develop their ideas and artistic work. The jury reconvenes to choose a winner from the three proposals.
About Art Basel
Founded in 1970 by gallerists from Basel, Art Basel today stages the world's premier art shows for Modern and contemporary art, 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. Art Basel’s engagement has expanded beyond art fairs through a number of new initiatives such as The Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, Art Basel Cities, and more recently Art Basel Inside. For further information, please visit artbasel.com.
About BMW Group Cultural Engagement
For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in over 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art, classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have cooperated with BMW. In 2016 and 2017, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari created the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car Collection. Besides co-initiatives, such as BMW Tate Live, the BMW Art Journey and the “Opera for All” concerts in Berlin, Munich, Moscow and London, the company also partners with leading museums and art fairs as well as orchestras and opera houses around the world. As part of its art programme “Muse”, Rolls-Royce partners for the initiative “The Dream Commission” with two internationally esteemed art institutions. Together with Fondation Beyeler and Serpentine Galleries, emerging and established artists are invited to submit a moving-image work that delivers an immersive sensory experience. The artists are nominated and chosen by renowned personalities of the art world like Daniel, Birnbaum, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Cao Fei, and Theodora Vischer. BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities for granted – as this initiative is as essential for producing groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.
Further information: www.bmwgroup.com/culture and www.bmwgroup.com/culture/overview
The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly facilities in 15 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2018, the BMW Group sold over 2,490,000 passenger vehicles and more than 165,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2018 was € 9.815 billion on revenues amounting to € 97.480 billion. As of 31 December 2018, the BMW Group had a workforce of 134,682 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.