For one of the founders of the Rolls-Royce brand, having a muse set the foundation of the Spirit of Ecstasy. Today, Rolls-Royce keeps that spirit alive and the British brand announced, earlier this month, the start of a new art program under the Muse moniker.
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Muse will build on art build on art engagements and commissions that have involved seminal figures in contemporary art since the Art Program’s foundation in 2014, according to Rolls-Royce. It will connect patrons and the public to today’s art world via bespoke programs and publications that provide glimpses into artists’ ways of seeing and thinking. In this regard, we’ll be seeing two new biennial initiatives: the Dream Commission and the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge.
The biennial Dream Commission is the main initiative of Muse. It will support moving-image works created by emerging and mid-career artists. Rolls-Royce’s claims the purpose for this new commission is to be a relevant platform for advancing the medium of moving image today. Works produced by the selected artists will investigate a particular aesthetic territory: to conjure an alternative sensory universe and journey into the world of the sublime.
Celebrating the latest innovations in the field of moving image, works will be from any medium within that category including experimental film, video, animation, immersive and participatory installations, and content presented in non-screen formats, such as augmented and virtual reality. Experts from the international art world will nominate artists to be shortlisted for the Dream Commission in a two-phase process.
An expert jury of curators, artists and museum directors will first select a shortlist of four artists from the nominations. Each of these artists will be invited to submit a short presentation. Based on these works, the jury will reconvene to select the final winner, who will go on to create the Dream Commission work. As the two-year process concludes, the cycle will begin again.
The biennial Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge will, on the other hand, invite visionaries to re-imagine the icon of Rolls-Royce. The figurine adorned at the forefront of every car made in Goodwood these days is set to be reinvented and participants are encouraged to push the limits of a material, selected each time by Rolls-Royce, to create objects that surprise, delight and inspire. For the inaugural edition, the material chosen is textile.
“Since its inception five years ago, the Rolls-Royce Art Program has brought many new artworks to fruition around the world. As we look to the future, Muse will enable us to continue this legacy with a vision to expand the horizon of moving image and ignite a dialogue with some of the most exciting creative visionaries of our time. In doing so, we will inspire great works that leave a lasting mark on our culture,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. To get a better idea of what they are aiming for, the video below might offer some insight.