Rolex introduces its new “mentor”, star architect David Chipperfield, and his “protégé”
A year of creative collaboration and one-on-one mentoring between young talents and undisputed masters… This is the notion behind the “Mentor and Protégé” program established by Rolex in 2002. For 2016 David Chipperfield is accompanying Simon Kretz.
FROM ALEJANDRO GONZÁLEZ IÑÁRRITU (THE REVENANT) TO OLAFUR ELIASSON
Alejandro González Iñárritu and Tom Shoval, Martin Scorsese and Celina Murga, Brian Eno and Bren Frost, William Forsythe and Sang Jijia, Olafur Eliasson and Sammy Baloji… the list of “mentors” and “protégés” brought together by Rolex since 2002 is nothing short of stellar. Beyond the basic name-dropping, the year-long union between these established artists and their gifted disciples is above all an extraordinary adventure in humanity. An expression so over-used that we try not to use it. And yet here, with this artistic mentoring, it is very real.
TRANSMITTING ONE GENERATION’S KNOWLEDGE TO THE NEXT
Based on a simple yet brilliant idea, the “Mentor and Protégé” program brings together young talent and undisputed stars of different artistic disciplines (art, music, theatre, cinema, literature, architecture and dance) in an invitation to share. “We ask nothing of our participants,” Rolex explain, “Just that they spend time together and share their knowledge and experiences. This time is clearly of an essential value in our eyes. We know what a wealth it represents, because it leads to so much sharing and exchange.”
TWO MONTHS ON MARTIN SCORSESE’S SHUTTER ISLAND SET
Thus in 2008 and 2009 Argentinian film maker Celina Murga spent two months on the set of Shutter Island in the company of Martin Scorsese. The American movie-making legend even gave her advice for her film The Third Side of the River, before ending up executive producer. “We’re convinced that hiding behind every great artist is another great artist,” the Swiss watch brand adds humbly.
RETHINKING THE CITY TOGETHER
For 2016 Sir David Chipperfield, an internationally renowned Brit, is joining forces with young Swiss architect Simon Kretz. Announced this weekend at the opening of the Architecture Biennale, of which Rolex is the main partner, this mentoring has been initiated under the best auspices, that of a very concrete and pragmatic reflection on urban spaces. “What else can the architect and architecture do for the city? Will an urban project still have the capacity to change the function and way we live? These are the questions Simon Kretz and I will be attempting to answer,” explained Sir David Chipperfield.
A YEAR OF CREATIVE EXCHANGE FOR CONCRETE SOLUTIONS
The architect is planning to focus on existing sites and to question alongside his “protégé” how they could be conceived better. “The problem today is that urban projects are never considered in a global manner. All decisions are disconnected: the buildings aren’t conceived by those who design the surrounding spaces or the transport networks. A link has to be re-established between these different domains to give meaning back to the city. This exercise should lead to practical solutions that I plan to apply to more than one site. I’m thinking of the Spanish coast for example…” Sir Chipperfield continued. Watch this space.
An interview with Sir David Chipperfield is coming soon to Numero.com as well as a focus on the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
By Thibaut Wychowanok