The art year 2019 continued in the Swiss mountains: The Verbier Art Summit (VAS) took place on February 1st and 2nd in the picturesque town of Verbier Switzerland. Upon invitation of La Prairie, sponsor and supporter of the event, Andy Meets Warhol participated in the event, while having the chance to explore both art and beauty in an idyllic setting.
The summit, founded by Anneliek Sijbrandij, takes place on an annual basis. This year, under the theme “We are many art, the political and multiple truths” was in collaboration with museum director Jochen Volz of Pinacoteca de São Paulo, Brazil and took place at the W Hotel in Verbier.
THE SPEAKER HIGHLIGHTS
The summit examined art’s readiness to hold multiple truths, and searched for new ways to apply this to other fields of public life. Speakers included: Tania Bruguera, Latifa Echakhch, Grada Kilomba, Ernesto Neto and Rirkrit Tiravanija; art educator Naine Terena; curator Gabi Ngcobo; philosopher Federico Campagna; Tate director Maria Balshaw; professor of neurophysiology Wolf Singer; and professor of sociology Boaventura de Sousa Santos.
"Art produces knowledge by producing questions" - Grada Kilomba, Verbier Art Summit 2018
The speeches of Jochen Volz and artist Grada Kilomba were notable: Jochen Volz spoke about an increasing binary understanding of our world and presented political and social global developments such as Brazil’s recent election and its impact on minorities. He also referred to the role of art in this understanding and how it can hold and present multiple truths, challenges and questions conventional wisdom. Grada Kilomba presented her work Illusions vol. II, Oedipus and talked about the role of art in producing knowledge by producing questions. She also mentioned that there’s nothing more liberating than breaking from knowledge systems.
THE ART WALK: ART TREASURES IN THE DEEP SNOW
Organised by La Prairie, one of the programme highlights was the Verbier 3-D Foundation Private Art tour in the snow with artist Kiki Thompson. Founded in 2010 by the Verbier- based artist and New York-based artist Madeleine Paternot, the Verbier 3-D Foundation aims to create a dialogue around the themes of glacial warming and societal behaviours on a local basis that extends outwards.
The tour of the Artist Residency and Sculpture Park was a new and unforgettable experience for me. Inspired by the stunning Alpine environment of Verbier, Switzerland at an altitude of 2,300 meters between La Chaux and Ruinettes, I was introduced to the artworks from a variety of artists, including Chloe Dewe Mathews (UK), Olaf Breuning (CH) and James Capper (UK). James Capper (UK) is currently in residence with his artwork AERO CAB. The most recent addition is titled Interference Cube by Swiss architects Gramazio Kohler (CH) using digital ornaments on the concrete and fostering a dialogue between digital and physical caught my attention.
PLATINUM BEAUTY X SCIENCE X ART?
La Prairie is an avid supporter of culture and the arts, being a sponsor at Art Basel. Last year, the brand worked with Manon Wertenbroek and Julian Charrière. Parallel to their involvement with the Verbier Art Summit, participants had the chance to discover their products and celebrate the launch of their new La Prairie Platinum Rare Cellular Life-Lotion. Inspired by Platinum, one of the Earth’s most precious and rare resources, the product helps to diminish the major visible ageing signs. The science behind it: a secret biotechnological cell complex called Cellular Complex, as introduced by Stéphane Noizillier, training manager of La Prairie.
Participants had the chance to discover several products of the Platinum Rare Collection, and my favourite product was the Cellular Life-Lotion. The refreshing and rejuvenated feel, pleasant smell and fast dry of the lotion won me over. Another interesting fact is the bottle design: in deep amethyst tones and a symmetric shape, the lotion decanter features a notable design and arty element as does the rest of the Platinum rare collection. The sculptural jars and viral’s design include timeless elements of industrial design and architecture and conveys a sense of understatement.
COSMIC PLATINUM SCULPTURES & A STAR MAP?
On the first day of the VAS a “cosmic dinner” was organised by La Prairie. During that dinner, we noticed a platinum sculpture which was part of the “art-de-la-table”, celebrating the new Life-Lotion. The most outstanding surprise followed the next day: a Star Map showing the constellation of a very special moment in your life: mine was 16/02/2017, the date, where I met artist Georg Baselitz during the Artist Talks at Fondation Beyeler. His artistic practice, quotes and life-learnings were an inspiring moment for me.
ART OF BEAUTY?
Excited to explore more of art and beauty with La Prairie this coming year. One recent development has been the new art-inspired corner at Parfumerie Osswald in Zürich, which I am looking forward to visiting soon. One of the main takeaways from “Andy meets La Prairie” is the fact that everything is made with passion and attention to detail, from personal handwritten notes and lovingly put-together cards. The people behind the brand bring a true passion to their products and brand.
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