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BMW Group France announces the new winning duo in the BMW ART MAKERS patronage programme, dedicated to the visual arts and contemporary image. Artist Mustapha Azeroual and Curator Marjolaine Lévy were chosen by the jury for their project "The Green Ray".

Artist Mustapha Azeroual and curator Marjolaine Lévy were unanimously selected by the jury to develop their project "The Green Ray" as part of the BMW ART MAKERS program.

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  • As part of its call for applications, BMW ART MAKERS is supporting a duo of an emerging visual artist and a curator to create a project.
  • The duo will begin work in February and the project will be presented at the Rencontres d'Arles in summer 2024, then at Paris Photo in November 2024.
  • BMW Group France is offering a grant of €10,000 to the artist, a grant of €8,000 to the curator and a research and production budget of €15,000, followed by a solo exhibition at the Rencontres d'Arles and Paris Photo, of which BMW is an official partner.

Paris. Artist Mustapha Azeroual and curator Marjolaine Lévy were unanimously selected  by the jury to develop their project "The Green Ray" as part of the BMW ART MAKERS program.

The jury was composed of Florence Bourgeois, director of Paris Photo, Hervé Digne, president of Poush-Manifesto, Chantal Nedjib, founder of l'Image par l'image, Christoph Wiesner, director of Les Rencontres d'Arles, and Fannie Escoulen, delegate for photography at the Ministry of Culture, Pascal Beausse, director of collections at Centre National de la Photographie, art critic and exhibition curator, Christophe Ono-dit-Biot, writer and deputy editorial director of Le Point and Maryse Bataillard, head of corporate communications and CSR at BMW Group France.

This artistic project is a new experiment, the result of their collaboration, which will result in a new exhibition and will be shown as part of BMW's continuing partnership with Les Rencontres d'Arles and Paris Photo.

The project, The Green Ray
The Green Ray is about the poetics of light, offering a way of making the invisible visible to the eye. Mustapha Azeroual records sunlight at sunrise and sunset, to capture a palette of colours corresponding to the territory in which he is shooting. The result is a series of abstract images derived from this optical experiment. For BMW ART MAKERS, Mustapha Azeroual is interested in shooting the sun on the high seas, a territory he has never explored before. To keep travel to a minimum, the duo will be creating a community of sailors, scientists and artists. Each group will have a precise shooting protocol to follow. The Green Ray aims to show that a different kind of abstraction is possible, one that reflects the issues and problems facing our society, since the colour of the sky fluctuates according to human activity. An immersive, eco-responsible scenography will be designed to be reused and adapted to new locations.

Mustapha Azeroual and Marjolaine Lévy said on the announcement of their nomination: "We are very pleased with this nomination, both because it's a project that combines a reflection on narrative abstraction that we share, and because it's also an exhibition that is based on a close collaboration, which is actually quite rare, between artist and curator, from the writing of the project to its realisation. Finally, the BMW ART MAKERS program, with its contemporary environmental and societal issues, seems to us to be the ideal context in which to bring our project "The Green Ray" to a successful conclusion, an installation firmly rooted in the issues of our time and offering a unique immersive experience to the public".

The BMW ART MAKERS program will make this project possible.
"The particularity of this programme is that it brings together an artist and a curator. Our aim is to bring out the complementary nature of each to give birth to a large-scale project from the first thought to the final work. Working alongside the artist, the curator acts as artistic director, scenographer and consultant, ensuring that the project is carried out to the highest artistic standards and on schedule". Maryse Bataillard, Head of Corporate Communications and CSR, BMW Group France.

Applications and trends identified in this edition of BMW ART MAKERS.
Each year, the projects received in response to the call for applications reveal the trends and subjects being explored by the artists. The five candidate duos were selected from among 70 applicants who submitted a dossier containing a statement of intent, a budget, a production schedule, a proposed scenography and images of their previous work. The projects submitted showed a great diversity of profiles and work, with 50% of the applicants being mixed duos, 35% women's duos and 15% men's duos. 70% of these duos were French, 30% international, from more than 25 countries around the world. A number of major trends emerged, reflecting current societal issues: a large number of proposals focused on the environment and the ecological transition, with a view to preserving the planet. Projects focused on sunlight, water, plants and biological ecosystems. Another strong trend was migrants, inclusion and invisibility, with a desire to make minorities visible (disability, mental or physical illness, gender, ethnic minorities, etc.).

The exhibition's scenography revealed a strong immersive character, with the use of new technologies such as video mapping, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. In keeping with the desire to immerse visitors, but also to anchor them physically in the real world, many of the installations offered visitors the chance to take a break by lying down or immersing themselves in the installation in a contemplative way.

The first selection of projects was made by a panel of visual arts professionals including Clara Chalou, artistic committee of the Festival Circulations, Karin Hemar, designer and strategy consultant, Fabrice Laroche, professor at Gobelins, l'école de l'Image, Maud Prangey, head of the Juvernas Prize and Maryse Bataillard, head of corporate communications and CSR at BMW Group France.

The pre-jury allowed 5 nominated artist-curator duos to be interviewed by the jury.
- Mounir Ayache (artist), Anne Bourassé (curator) with the project « Le Mirage de Retz »
- Laure Winants (artist), Michel Poivert (curator) with the project « Time Capsule »
- Maxime Riché (artist), Céline Lerebourg (curator) with the project « Ecotone 1 » (Murmuratio)
- Alice Pallot (artist), Leonore Chirol (curator) with the project « Là-haut les algues Bleues »

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