French-Martinique artist Julien Creuzet is awarded the BMW Art Journey, honoring his innovative ideas to the climate crisis and social change. For his journey, he will travel to Martinique to work with artists, musicians and filmmakers.
Photo: Julien Creuzet
29. June 2021
Art Basel and BMW announcing Julien Creuzet as the winner of the BMW Art Journey 2021. The international jury unanimously selected him from a shortlist of three artists represented by galleries originally selected for this year’s Art Basel in Hong Kong.
Julien Creuzet (born 1986) lives and works in Montreuil, France. In his work he creates diverse works that include poetry, music, sculpture, assemblage, film and animation. As Creuzet evokes transoceanic and postcolonial transactions with his work and connects them to different time levels, he places his own history of origin in the past, present and future at the center of his work. Immediately after general narratives and cultural reductions, he repeatedly highlights anachronisms and social realities and develops irreducible objects from them. His most recent solo exhibitions include Camden Arts Center, London (coming), Palais de Tokyo and Fondation d’entreprise Pernod Ricard, Paris. In addition, his work has been shown in various group exhibitions, including Manifesta 13, Marseille, the Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris and Center Pompidou, Paris. Creuzet is nominated for the Marcel Duchamp Prize 2021 and is represented by Galerie High Art, Paris.
As a member of the Caribbean diaspora in Paris, the BMW Art Journey – the tenth in this series – means for Julien Creuzet a return to his homeland, a place that he describes as “the heart of his imagination”. On his poetic journey, Creuzet combines personal discoveries with his deeply felt concern for the environment. He is concentrating on an independent geographical and cultural region: In Martinique he will work closely with a group of art students from Fort-de-France as well as with musicians and filmmakers. He is planning hybrid sculptures in which he combines Antillean fauna with objects made of plastic and industry to a whole, in order to refer to their circularity. In Guadeloupe he will film underwater scenes and record aerial photographs with drones. In exchange with other cultural workers, he plans to collect visual material and music for a “Caribbean road movie” in which he fuses fiction and documentary recordings with each other and with 3D art. The Antilles are often neglected by urban society, but for Creuzet they are not only home, but also a place for dealing with issues such as colonialism and its legacy, conflict and exclusion.
“I am very happy to have been selected for the BMW Art Journey – a great opportunity to reconnect with my home country. This trip enables me to work with local artists, writers, poets, musicians and students in Martinique, ”said Julien Creuzet.
The BMW Art Journey is part of the BMW Group’s global cultural commitment, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. With a focus on modern and contemporary art, classical music, jazz and sound as well as architecture and design, the BMW Group is firmly established in the international cultural world. The BMW Art Journey is an initiative founded in 2015 by Art Basel and BMW to promote emerging artists around the world. The international jury included Claire Hsu, Director Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Matthias Mühling, director of the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus and Kunstbau, Munich; Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, President of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Philip Tinari, Director UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; and Samson Young, artist and winner of the first BMW Art Journey.
“Julien Creuzet’s journey does not take him to a distant, unknown destination, but rather allows him to return to a familiar place – a place that for him stands for family, youth and education,” said the jury in their opinion after their unanimous choice . “With his project, he is rethinking mobility and giving new ideas to the climate crisis and social change as a result of the corona pandemic. In doing so, Creuzet focuses on a single location and thus emphasizes the importance of regionality and the relationship to one’s own roots. On his journey he combines stories with fiction and a sense of homeland with open-mindedness. We were extremely impressed by the generosity of his project, especially how he creates space for other artists – a gesture of affection and humility that is absolutely in tune with the current moment of healing. ”
In addition to Julien Creuzet, Kelvin Kyun Kun Park (represented by Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai) and Alice Wang (represented by Capsule Shanghai) were nominated for the BMW Art Journey 2021.