Max Hooper Schneider selected for next BMW Art Journey

The artist’s journey will explore reef ecologies around the globe, and will include dimensions of research and documentation, as well as sculptural events.

Art Basel and BMW are delighted to present American artist Max Hooper Schneider as the next BMW Art Journey winner. He was selected from a shortlist of three artists whose works were exhibited in the Positions sector at Art Basel Miami Beach 2016.

Entitled 'Planetary Vitrine: The Reef as Event,' Hooper Schneider’s Art Journey is a maritime exploration of coral reefs around the globe. These reef systems include the Bikini Atoll and the reef affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. Importantly, each reef system which will be investigated by the project has been compromised by its contact with humans, and each reveals a specific aspect of how this interaction has occurred, as well as how human and non-human agents have acted over time to remediate the damage. Together, the reefs tell a story of death and resilience, corruption and rebirth.

The artist’s journey will include dimensions of research and documentation, as well as sculptural events. Building on his longstanding practice of creating glass and acrylic vitrines that both contain and reflect upon complex natural and man-made systems, Hooper Schneider plans to bury empty vitrines at sea near one or more of the visited sites. The transformation of the vitrines into new 'Trans-Habitats,' co-created by artist, reef, and other natural and human participants in the process, will be monitored by the artist periodically. Hooper Schneider’s long-term expectation is to exhume and exhibit these 'Trans-Habitats' well after the formal conclusion of his Art Journey.

The project was unanimously selected by a jury of international experts, comprised of Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director New Museum, New York; Gabriele Horn, Director Berlin Biennale, Berlin; Victoria Noorthoorn, Director Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; Bisi Silva, Director Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos; and Philip Tinari, Director Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing.

In a joint statement, the jury lauded the exceptional depth and detail of Hooper Schneider's proposal: "The proposal develops important themes in Hooper Schneider's practice, which already impressed us deeply at Art Basel in Miami Beach. The idea of visiting coral reefs grows out of Hooper Schneider's interests in the relationship between philosophy and nature, the personal and the political, destruction and construction, and what he calls non-human and human agents. We are excited by how this project gives expression to concerns about ecological destruction in today's world."

Image: Max Hooper Schneider, Cold War Dishwasher (Uranium Glass), 2015 (Detail) (c) High Art and Max Hooper Schneider