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Zac Langdon-Pole selected for next BMW Art Journey. New Zealand artist to explore varied histories of celestial mapping – from Central Europe to Pacific Islands.

Munich/Basel. Art Basel and BMW are delighted to present Zac Langdon-Pole as the next BMW Art Journey winner. An international jury selected him unanimously from a shortlist of three artists whose works were exhibited in the Discoveries sector at this year’s Art Basel show in Hong Kong. Zac Langdon-Pole is represented by Michael Lett in Auckland.

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Langdon-Pole’s journey “ Sutures of the Sky,” as his proposal is titled, will take him later this year across a world that humans and birds have been navigating through millennia. He will follow the flight paths of birds like the white stork or the arctic tern, traveling along the earth’s axis where the Northern and Southern Hemispheres’ summers intersect. Migrating birds cover some of the longest distances traveled by any living being. Their routes have guided the Polynesian pathfinders across the seas.

Inspired by this ancient celestial tracing, Langdon-Pole's journey questions the position of humans as the center of the world. Weaving through Central Europe, Southern Africa, and the Pacific Islands of Samoa and Hawaii, his BMW Art Journey seeks to understand how culture intersects with the science of celestial mapping—and from there flows into larger existential inquiries about who we are and how we are situated in the world.

The international jury consisted of Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York; Claire Hsu, Director, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Bose Krishnamachari, President, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India; Matthias Mühling, Director, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich; Pauline J. Yao, Curator, Visual Art M+, Hong Kong.

“The first artistic expressions of humanity, until the 19th century, had been largely inspired by the beauty, grandeur, and spellbinding mysteries of nature,” the jury noted in its statement. “After the Enlightenment, this view of the wonders of the world became outdated. Zac Langdon-Pole's concept of an artist's journey brings this sense of wonder back to art, and as an occasion for ideological and political reflection. We were particularly impressed by how the artist plans to meet experts in various disciplines to share his experience and join him as interlocutors.

Zac Langdon-Pole was announced as the next BMW Art Journey winner at the BMW Art Journey Talk on June 13 during Art Basel in Basel. Art Basel and BMW will collaborate with the artist to document the journey and share it with a broader public through print publications, online and social media.

In addition to Zac Langdon-Pole, the shortlisted artists from the Discoveries sector for emerging artists at Art Basel in Hong Kong were: Ali Kazim (represented by Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai) and Gala Porras-Kim (represented by Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles).

The jury took note of the exceptionally detailed and thoughtful proposals tendered by the other two finalists, both of whom proposed journeys with an emphasis on archeology. The jury commended Gale Porras-Kim (b. 1984) and Ali Kazim (b. 1979) for their efforts to “link past and present and bridge reality and fiction.”

The Los Angeles-Based Gala Porras Kim “takes a material we often take for granted—stone—to investigate archeology and its relationship to truth,” the jury noted. “Her proposal is an ambitious look at mapping seminal and recently-discovered ancient stone sculptures—man-made and natural—across multiple geographies and moments in time. By employing satellite technology alongside other techniques, she has sought to further extract histories that are always a combination of both fact and fiction.”

Similarly, Ali Kazim, who lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan,  “seeks to uncover relationships between history, culture, and the invisible workings of nature and time. His approach is invested with a desire to reexamine the territory that exists between material reality and human imagination. In visiting actual archaeological sites and seeing actual objects from Gandharan culture that extends across Asia and Europe, Kazim proposed to merge these visual resources with his own artistic language to yield a unique set of drawings and sculptures.”

Launched in 2015, the BMW Art Journey is a collaboration between Art Basel and BMW, created to recognize and support emerging artists worldwide. The 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 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.

Past winners of the BMW Art Journey include sound and performance artist Samson Young (presented by a.m. Space, Hong Kong at Art Basel's Hong Kong show in 2015), who represented Hong Kong at the 2017 Venice Biennale; German video artists Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr (presented by Galerie Max Mayer, Dusseldorf at Art Basel's Miami Beach show in 2015); British artist Abigail Reynolds (presented by Rokeby, London at Art Basel's show in Hong Kong in 2016) as well as Max Hooper Schneider (presented by High Art, Paris at Art Basel's Miami Beach show in 2016), Astha Butail (presented by GALLERYSKE, New Dehli, Bangalore at Art Basel´s Hong Kong show in 2017) and Jamal Cyrus (presented by Inman Gallery, Houston at Art Basel´s Miami Beach show in 2017).

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 information about the artist and the project, please visit:
www.bmw-art-journey.com

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
www.press.bmwgroup.com
Email: presse@bmw.de

Dorothee Dines
Art Basel
Global Head of Media Relations
Telephone: +41 58 206 27 06
Email: dorothee.dines@artbasel.com

Zac Langdon-Pole at Michael Lett, Auckland
Zac Langdon-Pole (b. 1988) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. He studied at Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland and at the Städelschule, Frankfurt. His work is often underpinned by questions of belonging, translation and identification. At this year’s edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong, Langdon-Pole presented a series of works that combined delicate paper nautilus shells with unique iron meteorites handcrafted to fill the shells' apertures. In 2017, he was awarded the Ars Viva Prize for young artists living in Germany. Recent exhibitions include Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Darmstadt; Between Bridges, Berlin; Ars Viva 2018, Berlin; S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent and Kunstverein München, Munich. http://michaellett.com/artist/zac-langdon-pole/ https://www.contemporaryhum.com/zac-langdon-pole-ars-viva

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. In 2014, Art Basel launched its Crowdfunding Initiative which catalyzed much-needed support for outstanding non-commercial art projects worldwide and helped garner pledges in excess of USD 2 million in support of around 70 art projects from around the globe – from Bogota to Ho Chi Minh City, San José and Kabul. For Art Basel Cities, launched in 2016, Art Basel is working with selected partner cities to develop vibrant and content-driven programs specific to the individual city. Connecting them to the global art world through Art Basel's expertise and network, Art Basel Cities supports its partners to develop their unique cultural landscape. For further information, please visit artbasel.com.

About BMW Group’s Cultural Commitment
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 co-operated 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 and London, the company also partners with leading museums and art fairs as well as orchestras and opera houses around the world. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities for granted – as this 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
Facebook: #BMWGroupCulture
Instagram: @BmwGroupCulture

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 14 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2017, the BMW Group sold over 2,463,500 passenger vehicles and more than 164,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2016 was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 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.

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