Edited by Chantal Prod'Hom and Fabienne Xavière Sturm
The aim of this exhibition catalogue is to establish a dialogue between the historical past of the timepiece, the work of designers who produce watches or clocks, and visual artists who work with the concept of time. Each of these domains has its own particular resonance, its poetic baggage and aesthetic references.The intention is to create coherence and harmony between the past and the present.
The catalogue is divided in two main sections.The first one is an historical section presenting a look at six centuries of watches, from 1550 to 2015, chosen to show how the display of time has evolved, focusing on unusual formats and highlighting the watchmakers’ inventiveness and artistry. A series of further sections illustrate specific aspects of time display and make connections with the work of contemporary designers and visual artists: mystery time, night time, projected time, retractable hands, windows, etc. The second section is dedicated to designers and visual artists: what shapes, media, and spaces do designers and visual artists turn to when they want to show time, or hide it, play with it, or even stretch it out? From the conceptual design of Maarten Baas and his Real Time project to the monochromatic Orologio by Swiss artist Valentin Carron,with a section on the theme of the clock, the concept of time is brought right up to date, including the perspectives of practical ingenuity, humour, intelligent quotation, and poetry.
Chantal Prod’hom is director of Mudac, Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, Lausanne.
Fabienne Xavière Sturm is honorary curator of the Geneva Museum of Watchmaking and Enameling.