Julien Creuzet starts BMW Art Journey 2021. Artist based in France searches for the unexpected among the familiar roots of his ancestors in Martinique.

The BMW Art Journey is part of BMW Group’s global cultural engagement, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Committed in the fields of modern and contemporary art, classical music, jazz and sound as well as architecture and design, the BMW Group has been an integral part of culture on a global scale.

Inspired by the Martinican thinker, critic and poet Édouard Glissant who had written about the concept of creolization, “It is a mixture of arts, customs and languages ​​that produces the unexpected,” Creuzet will make five trips in total to the Antillean islands Martinique and Guadeloupe between July 2021 and Spring 2022.

Creuzet himself was raised in Martinique, but never had the chance to work there. About his BMW Art Journey he says: “I strive to make my contribution, to give back by offering my experience and a place, a living world, a workstation for long-term experimentation. My journey is related to a long-time project that I had in mind, but I was never able to realize it. It is a good opportunity for me to return and to re-connect with my native land. I have shown and shared my practice and perspective around the world, but never in the land of my ancestors.”

During his BMW Art Journey Julien Creuzet will focus on three artistic projects around the geographically and culturally distinct region of the Antilleans. Filming landscapes, underwater scenes, and local festivals such as carnival, on the ground and with drones, he will create a video in collaboration with local contemporary artists and musicians.

A second project is an eight months-long workshop with the art students of Beaux-Arts de Fort-de-France (Campus Caribbean des Arts), opening a studio for their artistic work. One focus of the workshop will be about the creation of “bwadjacks” – sculptures made of modified cars and materials which are usually found on scrapyards, in a gesture of circularity.

Lastly, Creuzet will work on a project with the local fauna of the Antilleans. Drawing inspiration from natural forms, he aims to create new hybrid sculptures recycling plastic and other materials. The results of his BMW Art Journey are expected to be shown during Art Basel in Hong Kong in 2022.

About Julien Creuzet at High Art, Paris
Julien Creuzet (b.1986) lives and works in Montreuil, France. He creates protean artworks incorporating poetry, music, sculpture, assemblage, film and animation. Evoking trans-oceanic postcolonial transactions in relation to multiple temporalities, the artist places his own inherited past, present and future at the heart of his production. Eluding generalized narratives and cultural reductions, Creuzet’s work often spotlights anachronisms and social realities to construct objects of irreducibility. Recent solo exhibitions include Camden Arts Center, London (upcoming); Palais de Tokyo and Fondation d’entreprise Pernod Ricard, Paris. His work was featured in group exhibitions at Manifesta 13, Marseilles; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Musée d’Art moderne de Paris and Centre Pompidou, Paris. Creuzet is a nominee for the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2021.

Julien Creuzet was selected for BMW Art Journey 2021 from a shortlist of three artists represented by galleries originally accepted into this year’s Art Basel show in Hong Kong, in an online jury process. The international jury of experts included Claire Hsu, Executive Director, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Matthias Mühling, Director, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich; Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, President, 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. 

About the BMW Art Journey
Launched in 2015, the BMW Art Journey is a collaboration between Art Basel and BMW, created to recognize and support emerging artists worldwide. Since 2020, the circle of eligible artists has broadened and includes not only emerging and mid-career artists from the Discoveries sector, but also artists represented by galleries founded no more than ten years ago at Art Basel’s show in Hong Kong. In recognition of the ongoing exceptional circumstances caused by the pandemic, the jury conducted its selection process online. The selected artists were then invited to submit proposals, based on which the winner was selected.

Past winners of the BMW Art Journey include sound and performance artist Samson Young (presented by a.m. Space, Hong Kong, at Art Basel’s Hong Kong show in 2015); video artists Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr (presented by Galerie Max Mayer, Dusseldorf, at Art Basel’s Miami Beach show in 2015); Abigail Reynolds (presented by Rokeby, London, at Art Basel’s show in Hong Kong in 2016); Max Hooper Schneider (presented by High Art, Paris, at Art Basel’s Miami Beach show in 2016), Astha Butail (represented by GALLERYSKE, New Dehli, Bangalore, at Art Basel´s Hong Kong show in 2017), Jamal Cyrus (represented by Inman Gallery, Houston, at Art Basel’s Miami Beach show in 2017); Zac Langdon-Pole (represented by Michael Lett, Auckland, at Art Basel’s Hong Kong show in 2018), Lu Yang (represented by the gallery Société, Berlin, at Art Basel’s Hong Kong show in 2019) and Leelee Chan (represented by Capsule Shanghai at Art Basel’s Hong Kong show in 2021).

Art Basel and BMW will collaborate with the artist to document the journey and share it with a broader public through print publications, online and on social media.

For further information and press material about the BMW Art Journey artists and their projects, please visit the press section: www.bmw-art-journey.com/press