Slow-Moving Luminaries by Lars Jan

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Art Basel is the leading art fair happening three times across the world. The Miami  edition was held from December 7th to 10th. Aside from the actual convention center and the several shows,  the focus goes on Audemars Piguet’s art commission. For the third year, the luxury watchmaker partnered with LA-based artist Lars Jan, after Theo Jansen and Sun Xun to explore complexity and precision.

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The large scale kinetic installation took over Miami Beach oceanfront. Slow-Moving Luminaries confronts natural and manmade elements where Mother Nature slowly takes over the civilisation, moving to a chaotic future…

The multi-layered and immersive installation reflects the artist’s cross-disciplinary skills in performance, art and technology. He describes it as an experience that “explores psychological states of meditation or reprieve, tethered to a sinking sense of crisis that lies in wait underneath”. Visitors walk along the labyrinth drawing massive letters spelling SOS. They encounter five building-like sculptures that rise and fall thanks to lifts. The end of the path leads to the upper deck where a reflecting pool forms a miniature skyline echoing the backdrop with the same sculptures merging and sinking into the water. Their motion follows a calculation based on the movement of the nearest celestial luminary – the moon. References of square and circle are hidden here and there to remind to the international maritime symbol for SOS.

the choreography of our contemplation completes a portrait of our distress

The entire week was punctuated by different type of events – performances by the Treme Brass Band all the way from New Orleans, an Instagram meeting, a brunch with journalists, a VIP dinner with unique menu created by chef Daniel Humm. Every detail mirrored the concept of the artist. The installation was incredibly well-executed because it makes you enjoy it as well as question the topic. Global warming should be the main concern for everybody. And ‘plaire pour instruire’ the notion of Jean de la Fontaine explaining that something has to be pleasant to be taught takes on its full meaning. Thus educating through art is a growing focus.

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