City Life Org – Meriem Bennani to create new public artwork for the High Line, New York, co-commissioned by High Line Art and Audemars Piguet Contemporary

Artist portrait by Farah Al Qasimi, 2022. © Courtesy of the artist, the High Line and Audemars Piguet

The artist’s first public sculpture will premiere on the High Line in June as part of the 2022-2023 High Line Commissions

In June, artist Meriem Bennani will unveil her first public sculpture, Windy (2022), co-commissioned by High Line Art and Audemars Piguet Contemporary. Installed on the High Line at 24th Street in New York, the sculpture will be on view until May 2023. Windy marks the first time that High Line Art and Audemars Piguet Contemporary have co-curated and commissioned a public sculpture.

Fusing magical realism, wacky humor and techniques from a wide range of moving image genres, Bennani creates videos – often housed in colorful geometric steel sculptures – that tell stories about human behavior and our experiences both online and offline. 2 Lizards (2020), the artist’s most recent video series created at the start of COVID-19 in collaboration with filmmaker Orian Barki, became an overnight viral sensation as the work poignantly captured the experiences of quarantine and extreme isolation caused by the pandemic.

Windy on the High Line will showcase a shift in Bennani’s practice, marking her first public sculpture and her first free-standing sculpture that does not include a video element. Inspired directly by the experience of being in New York City and walking the High Line, Windy will retain the artist’s signature absurdist humor and interest in animation while focusing on mechanics and kinetic energy. of the sculpture itself.

Curators from High Line Art and Audemars Piguet Contemporary are working closely with Bennani to develop the work. The collaboration highlights the parallel mission of each program: to invite an artist to commission a new work that challenges them to think creatively and further develop their practice.

Meriem Bennani, artist, says: “In developing the concept for Windy, I knew it couldn’t be a static sculpture, but had to echo the dynamic and constant movements of the High Line. I wanted to play with the energy of New York after the last two years that alternated between engaging in it and carefully hiding from it. I also wanted to try something that presented me with new conceptual and technical challenges to expand my understanding of sculpture, the moving image, and the creative possibilities of their shared interaction. I am grateful for the support of High Line Art and Audemars Piguet Contemporary and for this opportunity to give my work a new direction, on the occasion of my first public sculpture.

Cecile Alemani, Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator, High Line Art, says, “It’s such an exciting time to see Meriem Bennani, an artist who engages in contemporary culture with an incisive spirit, expand her practice to new forms. This collaboration with Audemars Piguet Contemporary expands the unique platform that the High Line offers artists to present new creative works to a wide audience.

Audrey Teichman, curator at Audemars Piguet Contemporary, said: “High Line Art raises awareness among the general public about artists working today, which is entirely in line with Audemars Piguet Contemporary’s commitment to supporting artists and fostering their development. creative. We are thrilled, alongside Cecilia and her team, to collaborate with Meriem in her hometown of New York on a sculpture that takes her work from the digital sphere into the public realm and represents a new chapter in her artistic practice. We are delighted that visitors to the High Line will experience this dynamic and unique work in person.

About Meriem Bennani
Meriem Bennani (born in 1988 in Rabat, Morocco) is an artist based in New York. In 2022, in addition to Windy, she will present solo exhibitions at the Renaissance Society, Chicago, Illinois (2022); and Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, England (2022). She has already had solo exhibitions at the Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin, Germany (2020); Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, France (2019); The Kitchen, New York, New York (2017); and MoMA PS1, New York, New York (2016). Her work has been featured in group exhibitions at institutions such as LAX, Los Angeles, CA (2020); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark (2020); and MAXXI National Museum of Arts XXI, Rome, Italy (2018). She has participated in major international exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York (2019), Biennial of Moving Image, Turin, Italy (2019); Center for Contemporary Art, Geneva, Switzerland (2018); Biennale of Rennes, France (2018); and 11th Shanghai Biennale, China (2016).

About High Line Art
Founded in 2009, High Line Art commissions and produces a wide range of artwork, including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs and a series of billboard interventions. . Led by Cecilia Alemani, Director and Chief Curator of Donald R. Mullen, Jr. of High Line Art, and presented by High Line, the arts program invites artists to think about creative ways to engage with architecture, unique history and design. of the park and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.

For more information on High Line Art, please visit thehighline.org/art.

About the High Line
The High Line is both a non-profit organization and a public park located on the West Side of Manhattan. Through his work with communities on and off the High Line, he is dedicated to reinventing public spaces to create connected and healthy neighborhoods and cities.

Built on an elevated historic rail line, the High Line was always meant to be more than a park. Visitors can stroll the gardens, view artwork, watch a performance, enjoy food or drink, or connect with friends and neighbors, all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City .

Nearly 100% of the High Line’s annual budget comes from donations. The High Line is owned by the City of New York and operated under a license agreement with NYC Parks.

For more information, visit thehighline.org and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram.

About Audemars Piguet Contemporary
Audemars Piguet Contemporary commissions international artists to create contemporary works of art, fostering a global community of creators. The brand believes in the power of contemporary art to connect and be connected. Its patronage echoes the community of talented craftsmen that the Manufacture has supported and nurtured in the Vallée de Joux.

The team accompanies every commissioning process from inception to development to exhibition and builds experiences for audiences to engage with the work across the globe. The resulting works belong to the artists and contribute to their body of work.

As with mechanical watches, commissioned artwork is not limited to what you see. These works are sensitive to our ever-changing world. They are an opportunity for new creation, bring audiences together and spark conversations that go beyond first impressions.

Since 2012, Audemars Piguet Contemporary has maintained exchanges with artists from around the world including Aleksandra Domanović, Cao Fei, Kurt Hentschläger, Dan Holdsworth, Phoebe Hui, Ryoji Ikeda, Lars Jan, Theo Jansen, Alexandre Joly, Kolkoz, Robin Meier, Quayola, Cheng Ran, Arin Rungjang, Tomás Saraceno, Semiconductor, Jana Winderen and Sun Xun. Commissioned works have been presented around the world, in major venues such as Art Basel (of which Audemars Piguet has been an associate partner since 2013) in Hong Kong, Basel, Miami Beach; the Venice Biennale; Times Square, New York; Palace of Tokyo, Paris; HeK (House of Electronic Arts), Basel; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg; UCCA, Beijing; MAXXI, Rome; and Ars Electronica, Linz.

For more information, visit audemarspiguet.com/com/en/about/audemars-piguetcontemporary.html.

About Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet is the oldest fine watchmaking manufacture still in the hands of its founding families (Audemars and Piguet). Based in Le Brassus since 1875, the company has trained generations of talented artisans who have continually developed new skills and techniques, expanding their know-how to create revolutionary trends. In the Vallée de Joux, in the heart of the Swiss Jura, Audemars Piguet has created numerous masterpieces, testimonies to the ancestral know-how and avant-garde spirit of the Manufacture. Sharing its passion and know-how with watch enthusiasts around the world through the language of emotions, Audemars Piguet has established enriching exchanges between the fields of creative practices and nurtured an inspired community. Born in Le Brassus, raised all over the world. For more information, visit audemarspiguet.com and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram.

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