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Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr Selected for the Second BMW Art Journey. German Artist Duo to Visit Jamaica, China, North America, and Europe with Support from BMW and Art Basel.

Munich/Basel. BMW and Art Basel are delighted to present video artists Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr (represented by Galerie Max Mayer, Dusseldorf) as the winners of the second BMW Art Journey. The international expert jury selected unanimously Fehr and Rühr from a shortlist of three artists whose works were exhibited in the Positions sector at Art Basel's show in Miami Beach in December 2015.

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Munich/Basel. BMW and Art Basel are delighted to present video artists Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr (represented by Galerie Max Mayer, Dusseldorf) as the winners of the second BMW Art Journey. The international expert jury selected unanimously Fehr and Rühr from a shortlist of three artists whose works were exhibited in the Positions sector at Art Basel's show in Miami Beach in December 2015.

Their project “The Art of Memory: Dub Music and the CCTV Tower” is an extended investigation into the ever-growing interconnectedness of contemporary life. The artists capture today’s global linkages through the metaphor of the loop – both as a visual form and as a system of cultural transmission and cross-pollination. Cologne-based Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr will travel extensively to conduct research, their two focal points of interest are Jamaican dub reggae music and the iconic CCTV tower in Beijing. Seemingly unrelated, the Beijing architectural landmark designed by Rem Koolhaas and the Jamaican music style both follow a loop structure. Koolhaas has patented the building as a “looped skyscraper”, breaking up the conventional monolithic form into two and reconnecting the masses into an irregular circle. Dub music is an electronic, looped form of reggae. Jamaican musicians use synthesizers produced in the West enabling a non-linear narrative structure, as opposed to earlier forms of Jamaican reggae music.

Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr will contrast these two themes through film, music and TV productions, seen as alternative forms of memory and memory-creation. The artists will travel around Europe, the US and Jamaica to interview dub musicians, follow them on tour and document their studio work. In Beijing, the duo is planning to document the architecture of the CCTV tower.

Combining different forms of travel – slow travel on a bus and fast intercontinental plane rides – the artists will reflect on the notion of the journey itself. As they stated in their proposal for the Art Journey: “Just like dub music, travel is non-linear, unplannable, full of wormholes, and in every regard psychedelic.”

 

Art Basel and BMW will collaborate with the artists to document the journey and share it with a broader public through print publications, online and social media.

 

The jury of international experts, which voted unanimously to select Fehr and Rühr’s proposal, included Juan Gaitán, Director Tamayo Museum of Contemporary Art, Mexico City; Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director New Museum, New York City; Gabriele Horn, Director KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Victoria Noorthoorn, Director Museo de Arte Moderna, Buenos Aires; and Bisi Silva, Director Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos. 

In addition to Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr, the shortlisted artists from the Positions sector for emerging artists at Art Basel in Miami Beach included: Fritzia Irizar (represented by Arredondo \ Arozarena, Mexico City) and Dan Bayles (represented by François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles).

 

In a joint statement, the jury said about their selection: “In their previous works, Henning Fehr and Philip Rühr have demonstrated an extraordinary ability to analyze and describe commercial and cultural behaviors in a manner that combines criticism and a genuine, passionate interest in their chosen subjects. Their juxtaposition of music and TV production will allow them to explore connections between contrasting yet related cultural phenomena. The jury was impressed by the team's ability to connect unexpected areas of research, such as architecture, music, rhetoric, and the study of memory. Particularly interesting was the way in which they described their plans to alternate different modes of travel, working at different speeds and refusing to simply accept the rhythms of tourism and of the globalized leisure economy.”

 

The BMW Art Journey is a global collaboration between Art Basel and BMW, which has been created to recognize and support emerging artists worldwide. This unique award is open to artists who are exhibiting in the Discoveries and Positions sectors in the Hong Kong and Miami Beach shows of Art Basel, respectively. Two judging panels comprised of internationally renowned experts meet first to select a shortlist of three artists from the sector, who are invited to submit proposals for a journey aimed to further develop their ideas and artistic work. The jury reconvenes to select a winner from the three proposals.

 

The next round of selections for the BMW Art Journey will take place during Art Basel in Hong Kong, where on March 23 the three shortlisted artists from the Discoveries sector will be presented to the public, at the BMW Lounge. The winner of the third Art Journey will be announced in early summer 2016.

 

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.

 

About Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr

Henning Fehr (b.1985 in Erlangen, Germany) and Philipp Rühr (b. 1986 in Brühl, Germany) live and work in Cologne. The duo was awarded the Förderpreis des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen für junge Künstlerinnen und Künstler in 2014 and received a studio scholarship from Kölnischer Kunstverein and Imhoff Stiftung as well as a travel scholarship for Istanbul from the Kunststiftung NRW. Their practice is rooted in a shamanistic idea of cinema, in which the filmmaker is suspended between active participation and passive reflection. At Art Basel in Miami Beach 2015 the artists presented “Polyrhythm Technoir” (2015), a three-part film that allegorizes the present state of electronic music. Each of the work’s three sections is concerned with a different topic – Polyrhythm, Phasing, and Synchronicity – each of which finds its expression in the manner of its representation and presentation.

 

About Art Basel

Art Basel stages the world's premier art shows for Modern and contemporary works, 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. In addition to ambitious stands featuring leading galleries from around the globe, each show's exhibition sectors spotlight the latest developments in the visual arts, offering visitors new ideas and new inspiration. For further information please visit artbasel.com

 

BMW’s Cultural Commitment

For more than 40 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 modern and contemporary art, jazz and classical music 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, Roy Lichtenstein, Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons, Zubin Metha, Daniel Barenboim and Anna Netrebko have co-operated with BMW. The company has also commissioned famous architects such as Karl Schwanzer, Zaha Hadid and Coop Himmelb(l)au to design important corporate buildings and plants. In 2011, the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a global initiative of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Guggenheim Museum and the BMW Group celebrated its world premiere in New York. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all the cultural activities it is involved in for granted – as this is just as essential for groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business. 

 

The BMW Group

With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2015, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.247 million cars and nearly 137,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2014 was approximately € 8.71 billion on revenues amounting to € 80.40 billion. As of 31 December 2014, the BMW Group had a workforce of 116,324 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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