Banque Internationale à Luxembourg regularly presents exhibitions on the walls of its Galerie Indépendance, located in the bank's reception hall. Until now, however, we have been more used to seeing Luxembourg painters than seeing a thematic multidisciplinary exhibition, combining artistic work and research on innovative companies.
This new approach is due to the work of Séverine Zimmer, who was asked by the bank to think about the evolution of this space to make it live in a different way. "The idea is to build on two of the bank's four CSR pillars, namely innovation and art & culture, while addressing the themes in a cross-cutting manner," said Zimmer. "After the last few months that we have experienced, the theme of mobility appeared to be important," she explained. "So I selected both works that deal with this theme, but also works made during the period of lockdown. In addition to that, I selected some works from the Bil collection and asked some companies to show the object of their innovative research."
The innovation pillar is indeed important in the bank's identity as Bil supports many startups. "We should also not forget that Luxembourg is a startup nation, but that the general public has little access to these innovations. Just like art, it is also an environment relatively reserved for a circle of insiders," according to Zimmer.
Mobility from several angles
The issue of mobility is not only read from the point of view of simple travel. It is approached from different angles and the theme is explored in a more complex way. Among the works selected are both very recent works and those produced several years ago.
For example, Trixi Weis's video "Il était un petit navire" (There was a little ship), which attempts to navigate a giant paper boat replica on the Alzette, or Marco Godinho's "Mondes nomades" (Nomadic worlds), maps of the world cut out according to time zones and hung in a specific way that gives them an unexpected movement, are all works that can be rediscovered with pleasure.
Other works have been produced in recent months, such as Mike Zenari's photographic series on playgrounds or public spaces blocked off by security strips, the commission given by the National Audiovisual Centre (CNA) to Patrick Galbats during lockdown, and Hisae Ikenaga's collages made from magazines she had at home. The question of locality is also addressed in various ways, such as Franck Miltgen's "Mullerthal Traces" sculptures, casts of rock faces from this region of Luxembourg, which was very popular during periods when travel was restricted. Ikenaga has chosen a completely different approach by twisting Ikea furniture, which is bought directly by the owner of the work in the shop nearest to his home and which is assembled according to an Ikea-style instruction manual, but in a manner switched up by the artist.
Innovation as a complement
Alongside this display of artworks, there are presentations of technological innovations related to mobility. Goodyear's design department is presenting a revolutionary tyre, which is able to regenerate itself through the regular addition of encapsulated material. "This tyre is fully in line with the principles of the circular economy as it becomes wear-free. When the surface erodes, biosourced material is injected, the composition of which is personalised according to the user's driving habits, so that the relief of the tyre is reconstituted," said Sébastien Fontaine, industrial designer at Goodyear.
Another innovation is a vehicle whose engine runs on compressed air. Developed by MDI, the AirPod is a small, non-polluting city car, whose 2.0 prototype will have a range of up to 400km.
From 17 September to 14 January, Galerie Indépendance, Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, 69 route d'Esch in Luxembourg, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. A conference programme completes the exhibition.
Originally published in French by Paperjam and translated for Delano