In its second year as a global Associate Partner of Art Basel, Audemars Piguet is delighted to today announce plans for a new lounge created by leading French designer Mathieu Lehanneur as well as a new piece by Austrian video artist Kurt Hentschläger to be unveiled at Art Basel in Hong Kong from 14 - 18 May 2014. Inspired by Audemars Piguet’s home in Le Brassus in the Vallée de Joux, the innovative design by Lehanneur will provide the setting for a reflective video piece by Hentschläger and an exhibition of exceptional historic and contemporary timepieces, including a display of six new models of the Royal Oak Offshore in 42 mm.
Mathieu Lehanneur’s imaginative designs take inspiration from the worlds of science, nature and technology. For this new design concept, Lehanneur has used the latest technology in resin and fibre moulding to cast replicas of the rocks he discovered in the Vallée de Joux, Audemars Piguet’s home in one of Europe’s remote and pristine forest regions. Exploring the themes of technology versus nature, Lehanneur has taken exact prints of the ancient Swiss rocks to create his own new versions of nature, seemingly mastering the art of recreating the landscape of one of Europe’s most isolated and challenging environments, all executed without leaving behind any trace of human activity on the environment. Lehanneur’s cast resin and mineral rocks will be displayed in the Audemars Piguet booth in the Collectors’ Lounge, bringing the rugged, natural landscape of the company’s origin to each global edition of Art Basel in 2014.
Audemars Piguet has also commissioned a new film work by Austrian video artist Kurt Hentschläger for Art Basel this year, which will be displayed across three screens on the booth in the Collectors’ Lounge. Hentschläger has worked predominately with time-based media, light and sound for over 30 years and his atmospheric film for Audemars Piguet depicts scenes from the iconic Vallée de Joux, captured during his visit. The film presents the co-existence of nature and technology, exploring how they can inspire and affect one another, thereby offering a new perspective and view of the captivating landscape that has played an influential role in shaping the story of Audemars Piguet and the development of fine watchmaking.
As the centerpiece of the Audemars Piguet booth the brand will feature a selection of exceptional historic and contemporary timepieces. The exhibition will include a retrospective of the iconic Royal Oak Offshore 42 mm collection alongside other important pieces from the brand’s origins in the 19th century until today. Live demonstrations of the watchmaker’s craft as well as the delicate polishing process that each Audemars Piguet watch undergoes will complement the experience
Commenting on the new partnership, Olivier Audemars, Board Member and great-grandson of one of the company founders, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with two outstanding artists. Mathieu’s innovative new lounge design and Kurt’s beautiful film work both capture the true spirit of Audemars Piguet, and will enable us to bring the essence of our home in the Vallée de Joux to Hong Kong, Basel and Miami in 2014.”
Mathieu Lehanneur said: “I am inspired by nature and technology, and the possibilities in design they both present. For this project, I wanted to bring the captivating landscape of the Vallée de Joux, which has played such a key part in both Audemars Piguet’s history and its legacy of craftsmanship, to three continents across the globe by taking prints of the mineral rocks I discovered in the region and casting replicas through the latest technological processes.”
Kurt Hentschläger added: “Visiting and exploring the Vallée de Joux, the focus of the film, was an incredible experience and one I will not forget for a long time perfectly illustrating the co-existence of nature and technology which fascinates me.”
Following Art Basel in Hong Kong, the Audemars Piguet booth and exhibition will travel to the Collectors’ Lounge at Art Basel in Basel from 19 – 22 June 2014, and Art Basel in Miami Beach 4 – 7 December 2014.