Presented by Audemars Piguet and the Peabody Essex Museum // Art Basel Miami Beach
As part of the official Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 global partnership program, Studio Sebastien Leon was commissioned to design the exhibition Strandbeest, the Dream Machines of Theo Jansen, presented by Audemars Piguet and the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM).
From 3-7 December 2014, a clutch of Strandbeests, each with unique characteristics and histories, inhabited a prominent stretch of the beach in Miami Beach. Daily, visitors were able to meet Jansen as he led his larger-than-life, wind-powered creatures in demonstrations along the beach. An accompanying installation featured Jansen’s newest Strandbeests, including the 42-foot-long Animaris Suspendisse, as well as a reproduction of Theo Jansen’s workshop on the beach and an exhibition of Lena Herzog’s photographs of the Strandbeests.
Jansen’s renaissance imagination roams freely between the realms of art and science. Possessing an uncanny life-like locomotion, his Strandbeests (“beach animals”) are intricately constructed from PVC tubes, which Jansen refers to as his “artistic protein.” Through 25 years of experimentation and development on the Dutch seacoast, Jansen’s Strandbeests have evolved from rudimentary structures to complex creatures that are able to autonomously respond to environmental conditions by storing wind power, changing direction when they sense water and anchoring themselves during oncoming storms. Each year, Jansen increases the capacity of his Strandbeests to interact and adapt, clearing new hurdles for their sustained survival on the beach.
The Strandbeests Arrive at Art Basel | The New York Times | Produced by Bill Morrison
SPRINT, San Francisco
This animated tectonic landscape composed of hundreds of opalescent tiles brings to life the age of digital telecommunications . By continuously projecting graphic data onto every scale, visitors are encouraged to engage with the interior architecture and interact with the information around them.
NINE WEST, New York
The Pearl Chamber is a permanent installation commissioned by a luxury shoe company for its New York flagship store. The Pearl Chamber is conceived as a cave filled with basic geometric protrusions all progressively varying in sizes and shapes, bringing a hypnotic and organic quality to the experience.
Concept drawing - 6 x 8 1/2" - China ink and acrylic on Moleskine paper
Proposal for SOLUNA, Dallas
Echoes is a media sculpture showcasing a 20-minute looped video projected on a large white multifaceted, topographic screen.
Using the western canons of classical beauty as a starting point - a white marble block, sculptural bodies depicted in chiaroscuro, a chamber music instrumentation - Sebastien Leon introduces glitches in all elements of his work, recomposing every one of his artistic outputs: his sculpture becomes fragmented, his dance performance anachronological, his music rearranged through guitar pedals and sound filters.
The result is not only the complete deconstruction of the original canons, but also the reinterpretation of the linearity of the storyline, enabling viewers to comprehend the psyche of his piece through a fragmented, recomposed and multi-layered delivery. Mirroring our own volatile perception of time, frequently expanding and contracting, Echoes challenges our understanding; Leon deconstructs our fabricated awareness of time, and reconsiders human emotions by penetrating and dissecting them.
In our digital age, where all information becomes immediately universal, quantified, and classified according to pre-set filters, every event is recorded and can be analyzed and re-experienced at will, challenging the place of our existence in time and space. This new independent dimension is paralleled in Echoes through the reexamination of linear information.