March 3, 2021


art requires creative

Audemars Piguet’s In-Property Curators on the Luxury Watchmaker’s Art Commissions

9 min read

In these turbulent instances, creative imagination and empathy are much more vital than ever to bridge divides and find methods. Artnet News’s Artwork and Empathy Challenge is an ongoing investigation into how the artwork environment can aid greatly enhance emotional intelligence, drawing insights and inspiration from creatives, believed leaders, and terrific works of art


Fine watchmaking and the arts have a extended parallel background. In excellent examples of equally, craft, heritage, and precise absorbing facts take center phase, producing robust psychological reactions in artwork and observe fans alike. 

The Swiss luxurious enjoy house Audemars Piguet—one of the oldest look at corporations in the earth, established by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet in 1875—has for many decades operate an artwork plan, Audemars Piguet Contemporary, that exists independently from its watchmaking initiative, aiming to assistance artists from all over the environment in their endeavors to investigate lived encounters of all forms. 

To examine the method, the back links between horology and present-day art, and how artwork can assistance viewers increase their emotional intelligence, Artnet Information spoke with Audemars Piguet’s in-property art curators, Audrey Teichmann and Denis Pernet. 

What drew you to your roles at Audemars Piguet?

Audrey: I joined Audemars Piguet very last calendar year right after a couple of a long time doing the job as a curator in architecture for Villa Noailles in France and also for Galerie Lauren Bernard in Geneva, so I had working experience in transdisciplinary arts and supporting artists as a result of the gallery spectrum. Ahead of that, I labored in analysis, like Denis, at HEAD, a design college in Geneva, the place I was in a position to observe the perform of art and design and style pupils and attempt to share crucial factors of check out on topics that are pretty significant to the cultural second, which I definitely savored.

I actually liked that with AP, you could help artists with carte blanche, and give them opportunities that they could not or else have. It is vital for us to be radical, and to have a apply that actually respects the main of the research and the diversity of positions that artists stand for right now.

Denis: I joined in 2018. For a extensive time, I was a curator at the Present-day Artwork Centre in Geneva, wherever I was typically accomplishing solo exhibitions and producing new artworks. Then for a lot of years, I was doing analysis and freelance work as an impartial curator. Like Audrey, I was genuinely content to sign up for a application this kind of as AP’s that’s incredibly concentrated on supporting new generation and developing assignments with the artists we function with. 

Installation see of Cao Fei’s Isle of Instability (2020) commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary, on see at West Bund Artwork & Layout, Shanghai. Graphic courtesy of the artist and Audemars Piguet.

How does the method do the job?

Denis: What we do is support international artists by commissioning new artworks from them. We permit them come to a decision what they want to do—maybe they want to redevelop a project they didn’t get to do nevertheless or reimagine it as one thing far more ambitious or a thing new. We help range in our artist selection—they can be rising or mid-occupation or additional proven if the aid can make perception. The artwork belongs to the artist so it is element of their system of their function and will inevitably be exhibited with their other tasks and in potential exhibits. We also stick to the advancement of the task from inception to the first presentation and exhibition. We’re extremely happy to accompany the artist later on, too, if they have an additional possibility to present the get the job done and have to have our support.

Audrey: Also, it is essential to mention that we are co-curators in property, and it’s not only fiscal assist that we deliver, but a curatorial dialogue as properly. That is why we point out the truth that it is a extended-time period marriage: it’s crucial to go over and above the fast collaboration, to observe the presentation of the artwork, and to guidance the artist in the continuation of their professions. 

What forms of artworks have you overseen lately and what do you have prepared for this calendar year? 

Audrey: We have two sorts of packages in just the more substantial application.

The Audemars Piguet Artwork Commission is just one of the plans, a levels of competition that takes place every single two yrs in which we invite a guest curator who is an qualified in his or her area to participate. With their steering, we choose an artist. They then produce a large-scale artwork most of the time, it’s a 1st attempt at a project of that scale—we are likely to assistance artists who are not still internationally identified, and that’s very critical to us. We’re functioning on our fifth commission at the minute, and it’s going to be held in April and May possibly in Hong Kong. We’re working with two Hong Kong-based people, Ying Kwok—she was the curator of the Hong Kong pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale—and the artist she selected, Phoebe Hui. Her practice is investigation-dependent, and the job she’s doing for us is known as The Moon Is Leaving Us. It’s a fantastic challenge, a poetic interpretation of the truth that the moon is slowly but absolutely migrating absent from the earth. And our part is to aid dialogue all-around it and assist her deepen her research—for example, we served her to fulfill with a former astronaut and delivered a good deal of facts that was key for her, which includes knowledge we pulled on the mutable rules of the universe and how they could be greatest represented visually. 

Denis: The other plan we have is known as Studio Audemars Piguet.

For that just one, we go immediately to an set up artist and propose him or her to develop a commissioned artwork, regardless of what they want to do. We accompany them from the improvement of the notion to the exhibition. A number of decades ago, for illustration, we experienced a conversation with the Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda. He experienced a really bold and a little bit insane strategy of doing a trilogy of online video will work termed information-verse. It was likely to translate in photographs all the facts that human tradition has generated, from the microscopic—for instance, the quark on the inside of an atom—to the macroscopic.

We have been quite pleased to enable him current the very first part of the trilogy, which was revealed in the worldwide exhibition of the 2019 Venice Biennale, curated by Ralph Rugoff. We then had the possibility to existing the initial and next variations in tandem at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Germany previous November as two immense, synchronised projects. And now in London, at 180 the Strand, the 3rd variation and the full trilogy is all set to be presented in the exact place. It’s not open up yet, but we hope it will debut in March or April. 

 Ying Kwok and Phoebe Hui in the artist’s Hong Kong studio. Images courtesy of the artist and Audemars Piguet.

Ying Kwok and Phoebe Hui in the artist’s Hong Kong studio. Visuals courtesy of the artist and Audemars Piguet.

How do you in the long run make your mind up which artists to function with?

Audrey: Effectively, it’s about the passions of the artists and their methods, their contributions to the up to date art discourse nowadays and also the range of positions they stand for. Partaking with all this is also why we operate with invited curators—most of the time they have an fascination in precise queries that are really significant to the areas they represent. They are really included and delicate to the evolution of the particular art scenes they arrive from and the artists they are interested in operating with. 

Denis: In addition to the impartial curators, we consult with our colleagues, much too. We’re a organization that’s present in lots of nations, which is also why we’re so intrigued in artwork from a global standpoint. We collaborate with our global colleagues frequently—for instance, we worked with our colleagues in China to do one thing at the West Bund Artwork & Layout good final year, wherever we had the good option to fee a get the job done by Cao Fei. We also attempt to work with artists who can supply a sure critique or position of watch on the entire world we reside in today and how to superior recognize it and imagine what the upcoming might search like. Topics we return to again and all over again are technological know-how, science, and cultural identity. We’re also functioning with the Norwegian artist Jana Winderen whose do the job covers a range of environmental troubles and seeks to raise consciousness about the methods in which we deal with the world and its dwelling creatures. Investigate-based methods are specifically interesting and captivating to us.

How do you look at the similarities and dissimilarities in between good artwork and horology? 

 Audrey: Wherever we see affinities is genuinely in the curiosity of going over and above a initially perception or a first seem, which is applicable to the two worlds. You know, high-quality watchmaking has this sort of a diploma of refinement that you can definitely get pleasure from mastering about horology as a type of science all its personal it’s packed with history, science and tales of craftsmanship. And the same goes for present-day art. The more you know about it, the far more you realize it. 

Denis: We’re also often wanting for distinct views in how each methods can bring price to lived encounters in society. We like to introduce that dialogue to both of those art lovers and enjoy fans and have interaction them in a discussion. 

How has participating with artists and art formed how you get the job done and how you feel about the perform you do? 

Audrey: It is an fascinating problem for the reason that we’re under no circumstances seriously doing work by itself. It’s a task in which you have to converse a whole lot since approximately every section of it is collaborative. It has also produced me sensitive to the truth that executing this type of do the job is about eternal improve and mutability and the evolution of function, from its inception to its realization. It will make you issue your very own thoughts all the time.

Denis: What has often astonished me is how effective and rapid artists can be and how they acquire constraints and deal with them in pretty ingenious, successful strategies. It’s incredible to see how promptly artists visualize alternatives, which also leaves a lot of time for the philosophical element of the perform. I definitely enjoy the harmony in between the practicalities of completing and then displaying an artwork, and the motivation to discuss about the issue issue which normally focuses on greater life factors that we all devote a great deal of time pondering about. 

Ryoji Ikeda’s immersive audiovisual exhibition at 180 The Strand in London. Photo courtesy Jack Hems and Audemars Piguet.

Ryoji Ikeda’s immersive audiovisual exhibition at 180 The Strand in London. Picture courtesy Jack Hems and Audemars Piguet.

Emotional intelligence is a thing we’ve been speaking a whole lot about in the Artnet workplaces, considering the divisive instances we’re in now. Can artwork be employed to educate empathy and compassion, and most likely lend us a better comprehension of the world? 

Audrey: If you search at psychological intelligence as a little something that assesses your ability to have an understanding of yourself and other people, we definitely feel that artwork is one of the finest means to engage persons in that conversation. How we pick the get the job done we clearly show is very much primarily based on how you expertise it, so we opt for artwork dependent on the strength and assortment of feelings it procures, from pleasure to sorrow to hope. We are persuaded that these approaches of questioning and discussing artwork can deepen someone’s psychological intelligence.  

Denis: We also tend to opt for artists that are genuinely fascinated in these issues by themselves and how they apply to problems bordering social and environmental difficulties and thoughts of identification. I think continually being all around artwork in our experienced life has truly increased our individual senses of empathy, much too.

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