“We are delighted to present the four shortlisted artworks of MUSE, The Rolls-Royce Art Programme’s inaugural Dream Commission at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland and the Serpentine, London. To be providing a vital platform for moving-image art at this critical time for the industry is befitting in the 110th year of our very own muse, the Spirit of Ecstasy. The concept artworks are compelling yet diverse; we look forward to the Jury’s decision as to who will be awarded the very first, Rolls-Royce Dream Commission.”
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
The Dream Commission is Rolls-Royce’s biennial prize, awarded to inspire greatness and foster creativity in the media of moving-image art. Artists Sondra Perry (USA), Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (Puerto Rico), Martine Syms (USA) and Zhou Tao (China) were selected by an international Jury of leading art world individuals, having been nominated by a panel of art industry figureheads, over the course of 2020.
Each artist has created a moving-image concept artwork, exploring the notion of ‘Dreams’, which will premiere on the websites of the Fondation Beyeler and Serpentine from 26th February, 2021.
- Lineage for a Phantom Zone by Sondra Perry, a meditation on lineage, longing, and memory using personal and online archival footage.
- The Source by Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, which takes place against the backdrop of Puerto Rico, bringing the rich history and culture of the country to light.
- SLIP by Martine Syms, which introduces viewers into the artist’s personal mythology; equal parts biological, psychological and sociological.
- Three Hundred Miles Southwest by Zhou Tao, in which the artist moves the gaze of his lens from densely populated areas to a remote and almost mythological setting.
The works act as a proof of concept for consideration by the Jury, leading to one artist being awarded the Rolls-Royce Dream Commission in March 2021. The final artwork will be presented at the Fondation Beyeler in Autumn 2021.
“The last months have shown us how crucial the contribution of artists and the arts is to both society and our wellbeing. Supporting artists is more important than ever. It’s particularly difficult for artists in the field of media art to find the funds and resources to realize their work. The Dream Commission makes a very valuable contribution in this field. The concepts of the four shortlisted artists are a great first achievement and we are happy to present them online on our website.”
Sam Keller, Director, Fondation Beyeler
“Now more than ever, we should be listening to artists – it is often they who have the most important and prescient ideas about how one can act in times of crisis. All of our shortlisted artists address urgent issues of our time with remarkable vision and commitment. Their work is generous, engaged and empathetic. These artists all show us that, in the words of poet Etel Adnan, “the world needs togetherness not separation, love not suspicion. A common future, not isolation”. It has been a great pleasure to work with Rolls-Royce, Fondation Beyeler and my wonderful jury colleagues to support and highlight these important artists.”
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine
ROLLS-ROYCE DREAM COMMISSION AWARDED TO AMERICAN MOVING-IMAGE ARTIST SONDRA PERRY
“It is with great pleasure that Muse, the Rolls-Royce Art Programme, awards Sondra Perry the first ever Dream Commission, awarded to an artist working in the field of moving-image art. We are delighted to lead the charge in supporting this rapidly evolving and experimental art form. During the current global pandemic, Rolls-Royce is proud to have continued their support of the arts at a time when this is more vital than ever. On behalf of Rolls-Royce, my thanks go to the Fondation Beyeler and Serpentine for their continued support.” –Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
American artist Sondra Perry has been awarded Muse, the Rolls-Royce Art Programme’s flagship commission to create a new work on the subject of ‘dreams’. Sondra Perry is a moving-image artist who creates works exploring themes of race, identity and technology.
Working in partnership with two prestigious contemporary art institutions, Serpentine in London and Fondation Beyeler in Basel, the artist was selected by a jury of international art world figures.
Moving-image art includes experimental film, animation, Augmented and Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence. With the Dream Commission initiative Rolls-Royce find themselves, as ever, at the forefront of this emerging movement, which not only adds a new dimension to the world of art but reflects truly modern and future-facing thinking within Rolls-Royce.
The award will be granted every two years, under the guidance of an international jury of leading art world individuals. Rolls-Royce’s vision is to inspire greatness and this prestigious award seeks to foster creativity at a crucial time for the art industry.
About Sondra Perry
Sondra Perry (b.1986, USA) makes videos, performances, and installations that foreground digital tools as a way to critically reflect on new technologies of representation and remobilize their potential. Her works examine how images are produced in order to reveal the way photographic representations are captured and re-circulated. Sondra Perry was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, raised in New Jersey and North Texas, and has lived and worked in Newark, New Jersey since 2019. She received her MFA from Columbia University, New York, and her BFA from Alfred University, Alfred, New York, in 2015 and 2012, respectively. Sondra Perry’s exhibition Typhoon coming on was presented by the Serpentine in 2018, the artist’s first solo show in Europe.
Dream Commission Jurors
Isaac Julien CBE RA, Artist, London
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director at Serpentine, London
Katrina Sedgwick, Director of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne
Terrie Sultan, former Director of the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY
Theodora Vischer, Senior Curator at Fondation Beyeler, Basel
About Muse – The Rolls-Royce Art Programme
Muse is the Rolls-Royce Art Programme, designed to foster and inspire creativity through collaboration with artists who share the marque’s passion for pushing technical and conceptual boundaries. Consisting of two ongoing biennial initiatives, the Dream Commission and the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge, Muse partners with some of the most respected and prestigious institutions in the world. The Dream Commission was founded in 2019 as the flagship initiative of Muse. For the 2021 Dream Commission, Muse has partnered with Fondation Beyeler, Basel and Serpentine, London. Muse will provide selected artists with time and resource to produce art conceived, and to be experienced, without compromise.
Since its inception in 2014, Muse the Rolls-Royce Art Programme has invited Rolls-Royce patrons into the world of contemporary art. To date, leading artists Refik Anadol, Tomas Saráceno, Asad Raza, Dan Holdsworth, Isaac Julien, Yang Fudong, Pipilotti Rist, and Ugo Rondione have collaborated with the Art Programme.
About Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BMW Group and is a completely separate company from Rolls-Royce plc, the manufacturer of aircraft engines and propulsion systems. More than 2000 highly skilled experts are employed at the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ head office and manufacturing plant at Goodwood, West Sussex, the only place in the world where the company’s super-luxury motor cars are hand-built.