BMW Art Journey Winner Will Travel Bird Migration Routes

Zac Langdon-Pole's work uses paper nautilus shells, fragile egg-case-shells, made by the genus of Octopedes known as Argonauts, and unique fragments of Meteorite handcrafted to fill the shell’s aperture.
Zac Langdon-Pole's work uses paper nautilus shells, fragile egg-case-shells, made by the genus of Octopedes known as Argonauts, and unique fragments of Meteorite handcrafted to fill the shell’s aperture.
(Michael Lett gallery, Auckland. Image: Art Basel)
  • Zac Langdon-Pole

    Zac Langdon-Pole

The artist will follow bird migration routes linking the Northern and Southern hemispheres

Zac Langdon-Pole is the next BMW Art Journey winner. An international jury selected him unanimously from a shortlist of three artists whose works were exhibited in the Discoveries sector at this year's Art Basel show in Hong Kong. Zac Langdon-Pole (b. 1988, New Zealand) is represented by Michael Lett gallery in Auckland, and lives and works in Berlin.

'Sutures of the Sky' will take him later this year across a world that humans and birds have been navigating for millennia. He will follow the flight paths of birds like the white stork or the arctic tern, traveling along the earth's axis where the Northern and Southern Hemispheres' summers intersect. Migrating birds cover some of the longest distances traveled by any living being. Their routes have guided the Polynesian pathfinders across the seas. 

Inspired by this ancient celestial tracing, Langdon-Pole's journey questions the position of humans as the center of the world. Weaving through Central Europe, Southern Africa, and the Pacific Islands of Samoa and Hawaii, his Art Journey seeks to understand how culture intersects with the science of celestial mapping--and from there flows into larger existential inquiries about who we are and how we are situated in the world. 

The international jury consisted of Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York; Claire Hsu, Director, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Bose Krishnamachari, President, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India; Matthias Mühling, Director, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich; Pauline J. Yao, Curator, Visual Art M+, Hong Kong. 

'The first artistic expressions of humanity, until the 19th century, had been largely inspired by the beauty, grandeur, and spellbinding mysteries of nature,' the jury noted in its statement. 'After the Enlightenment, this view of the wonders of the world became outdated. Zac Langdon-Pole's concept of an artist's journey brings this sense of wonder back to art, and as an occasion for ideological and political reflection. We were particularly impressed by how the artist plans to meet experts in various disciplines to share his experience and join him as interlocutors.' 

 

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