PASSENGERS: THROUGH TIME BY FRENCH ARTIST
GUILLAUME MARMIN MAKES ITS WORLD DEBUT IN DUBAI
Among the highlights of The Stellar Odyssey, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s celebration of the relationship between astronomical phenomena and watchmaking, the Swiss Maison presents a new art installation
Passengers: Through Time specially commissioned from the French visual artist, Guillaume Marmin under its Made of Makers programme. The work will make its world debut in Dubai in February, in
conjunction with The Stellar Odyssey exhibition following its first introduction in the Vallée de Joux in May 2022.
Enriching the dialogue that has long existed between horology, artisanship and art, Made of Makers is a profound expression of the core principles that have defined Jaeger-LeCoultre for 190 years:
creativity, expertise and precision. With intense respect for the person in the process – the creativity of the mind and the skill of the hand – the programme focuses on world-class creators from outside the
world of watchmaking, who share the Maison’s values and whose work explores new forms of expression through different and often unexpected materials and media.
“Through Made of Makers we are looking for different perspectives on how the practices of watchmaking, art and other creative disciplines can bring value to lived experiences,” says Catherine Rénier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre. “We seek out artists from disciplines as diverse as gastronomy, music and digital art, who harness great imagination to meticulous artistic processes, creating works that expand our minds, challenge our senses and trigger strong emotions.”
Guillaume Marmin employs light, sound and movement in complex and evocative relationships that redefine traditional ideas of sculpture, space and time. His work evokes the beauty of the imperceptible and the laws of physics, creating a new world of images and narrations, transporting the viewer to another place and inviting contemplation and introspection. Its deepest fascination lies in this almost transcendental effect on the viewer. “I try to carry out an approach that is both conceptual and technical at the same time,” says the artist.
“I am always looking for new tools to experiment with, and the times we live in are particularly conducive to this. When we work around light, we are at the crossroads of scientific, artistic, philosophical, even mystical questions. To a certain extent, I think my work is a continuation of the research begun by artists like Victor Vasarely or François Morellet since the 1950s. I also have a strong desire to take art out of the galleries, to invest the public space and find new distribution networks.”
While using technologically advanced tools and digital media, Guillaume Marmin’s work is always grounded in expressions of reality. Through subjects such as Earth, architecture, the paradigms of physics and – in this commission for Jaeger-LeCoultre – astronomical phenomena, he illustrates the ambivalence of the present day in its relationship between nature and technology.
“We are delighted to be working with Guillaume,” says Catherine Rénier, Chief Executive Officer of Jaeger-LeCoultre. “The way his work sparks the imagination and creates a sense of awe and wonder captures perfectly the feeling we get when we look at the night sky and contemplate the movements of the stars and planets. In this sense, as well as the elegance and underlying complexity of his systems, we see an exact parallel with watchmaking. As it explores the very meaning of time, Passengers: Through Time is an outstanding expression of our Stellar Odyssey theme.”
Passengers: Through Time In partnership with Jaeger-LeCoultre, Guillaume Marmin created an entirely new chapter for his acclaimed installation, Passengers. This second chapter, Passengers: Through Time, focuses on celestial and astronomical observation, offering its visitors – or passengers – an exploration of the links between time, space and light, as described by the theory of relativity.
“The challenge of this project was to make perceptible the relationship between observation of the sky and the measurement of time,” says Guillaume Marmin “From discussions with astronomers and watchmakers, I imagined an art installation capable of transcribing the links that unite time and space.”
The intense planning phase of Passengers: Through Time included deep consultation between the artist and the Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics of Grenoble, which enabled him to identify and model the relationship between time and the cosmos in the light of contemporary knowledge. By employing generative programming to transcribe the data he collected, he has created an immersive and inspiring environment that enables us to momentarily approach the beauty of the unseen and the mathematical foundation of reality.
Through a kinetic device contained within a walk-through capsule and made up of visual and sound movements, infinite reflections and dizzying perspectives, the installation takes visitors (passengers) on a stellar excursion in which they are the protagonists. In the passengers’ minds, this complex and evocative interplay of light, sound and movement captures the vastness of the cosmos, inviting reflection on the fundamental question of what time really is.
“With its focus on the future, Dubai is a remarkable city – and this is expressed in a vibrant local art scene, which is very open to new ideas, genres and forms of expression,” says Catherine Rénier. “It’s hard to imagine a better place to present this work by Guillaume for the first time.”
General Information Following its unveiling in Dubai, as Passengers: Through Time travels to various global destinations as part of The Stellar Odyssey exhibition, its visual and sound content will be perpetually modified and renewed in alignment with the solar and lunar calendars and the geographical coordinates of each site, thus expressing celestial phenomena in real time and place.
Passengers: Through Time may be viewed from Saturday 4th to Thursday 23rd February 2023 as part of The Stellar Odyssey exhibition at the Dubai Fountain, Downtown Dubai, open daily from 2:00pm to