Chaos theory: Hermès plays havoc with notions of time at the SIHH watch fair

Chaos theory: Hermès plays havoc with notions of time at the SIHH watch fair

As Hermès makes its debut at the annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, it resets the horological universe with an interactive installation, courtesy of Dutch artist Levi van Veluw

 

The making of ‘The Alchemist’

‘Watchmaking gives the image of an industry that seeks perfection, where everything is always clean‐cut. The inside of my atrium installation is not a watchmaker’s atelier. It is instead chaos. And chaos is what I wanted to express inside the installation chamber. Like the mind of the watchmaker, full of ideas. He puts everything together to give rise to a watch.’ – Levi van Veluw 

See ‘The Alchemist’ for one day only, at SIHH, Geneva, 19 January, 11am–6pm. Photography: Hervé Annen​

The making of 'The Alchemist'

The making of ’The Alchemist’

Van Veluw interpreted time via his ‘building machine’ installation, enticing visitors to engage in an interactive experience on the theme of ‘time, a Hermès object’. 

‘The opening of the atrium installation is a strong contrast, from bright yellow to deep blue, between the inside and the outside. Actually, it highlights the paradox of something complex that looks easy, like Hermès time,’ says van Veluw.

‘We want to awaken a playful relationship with time through an object that is true to its function,’ explains Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès artistic director. ‘We create timepieces stemming from the mastery of numerous skills and a serene vision of time.’

See ‘The Alchemist’ for one day only, at SIHH, Geneva, 19 January, 11am–6pm. Photography: Hervé Annen​

The making of 'The Alchemist'

The vision

W*: How was the SIHH Hermès project different from your previous project collaborations for Hermès
LVV: It is the first project I’ve done with Hermès that is not a window display and therefore not behind glass. So people don’t only see it from the front, they can walk around it – that provides much better opportunity for interaction.

See ‘The Alchemist’ for one day only, at SIHH, Geneva, 19 January, 11am–6pm. Photography: Hervé Annen​

The vision
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