When Porsche first told Cyril Lancelin about its new initiative, ‘The Art of Dreams’, the artist was ‘immediately seduced’. His work, after all, explores the curious space that dreams inhabit: between the real and the unreal.

‘The Art of Dreams’ is Porsche’s new global series of interactive art and design installations sited across major metropolises. For each activation, Porsche will commission a creative, ranging from a designer to an artist or an AI programmer, to develop a work under this theme. A further edition is set for Milan, coinciding with the 2022 Salone del Mobile, while another will take place beyond Europe in late 2022, and more are planned.

‘By commissioning immersive artworks that explore the motif of dreams from different conceptual angles over the coming years, Porsche aims to provide inspiration and positive drive to vibrant communities and societies,’ says Robert Ader, CMO of Porsche AG. ‘The brand also wants to signal support to the art and culture scene that was particularly hard hit by the pandemic, which is in line with our strategic approach of being a “partner to society”.’

For its inaugural edition in Paris, coinciding with FIAC 2021, Lancelin has created Remember your dreams. On view from 15 – 24 October, the monumental, monochromatic inflatable installation will envelop viewers in what the artist terms an ‘artificial landscape’.

Lancelin was selected via Porsche’s extensive network in the arts and felt like a natural choice from the outset. ‘His surreal, dream-like interventions in the public domain make him the perfect artist to explore the topic of dreams in a way that is sophisticated yet accessible to a wider audience,’ Ader explains.

For the artist and Porsche, public participation is integral to the work. ‘I thought of the work as a 3D mesh in which we fit. I used arches with a tubular section so that the light was diffused and there were no sharp edges. The repetition of this module in three dimensions creates the volume; a place conducive to a kinetic experience.’

Sited on an outdoor terrace between the majestic 18th-century Palais Galliera Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris and its surrounding gardens, Remember your dreams will offer a link between these environments. For Porsche, the destination’s reputation as a hub for fashion, design and creative spirit made it the perfect setting. ‘The classic Parisian palace and the surrounding garden offer different ways of approaching the work. The large installation creates a connection between the site, the audience, and the different moods at different times of the day,’ says Ader. ‘I want the public to browse the work from the inside but also the outside. You also have to take the time to see the sunlight going through the work. It must be understood as a space for research on colour and light. The public must create their own experience,’ Lancelin continues.

Lancelin uses the same processes in his art that he employed in his former career as an architect. ‘I don’t draw my sculptures like a designer, I think of them with rules,’ says the artist, who uses 3D modelling software to conceive his ideas. ‘I then imagine the structure in the site and adapt it to align with the views, interactions and particularities of the place. ​​I like it when you do not know if the photo represents a physical or virtual work, because this border between the two fades more and more.’

Though all his works are born in the digital space, some never leave. Since 2018, Lancelin has also entered the realms of AR and VR, a migration that feels natural to his otherworldly creations, and opens up more possibilities.

‘There is a lot of freedom in the digital world: in materials, time, physics, gravity,’ he says ‘This leaves room for imagination and dreams!’

Both Porsche and Lancelin believe in the power of art to render apparent impossibilities possible, capture global imaginations, and make dreams attainable. Following a time when in-person art experiences and human interactions have been in short supply, these sentiments carry a new potency. As Lancelin explains, Remember your dreams is ‘a sculpture to be lived’. §