An inspection of time

An inspection of time

Curator Somi Sim explores emotions that evolve over the day through art

An inspection of time
Somi Sim and Raqs Media Collective's installation I Fall In Love Out Of Orbit.

After Frieze New York ended on May 21, Somi Sim is looking forward to the next event in Seoul. Her curatorial project for Breguet will then take her to other Frieze contemporary art fairs in London and Los Angeles.

The maison's second year at Frieze presented its heritage, such as the art of guilloche, as well as handcrafted timepieces and mechanical movements at the Breguet Lounge, located on the 8th Floor at The Shed in Manhattan.

In addition, it illustrated how founder Abraham-Louis Breguet was a designer and an artist, besides being an inventive horologer. He established a workshop in Paris in 1775 and introduced to watchmaking a pure and neo-classical style that is still part of the brand's DNA.

Based in Seoul and Paris, Sim brought her artistic vision to Breguet Lounge at Frieze New York. Normally, the independent curator explores interdisciplinary fields of urbanism, architecture, design and contemporary art.

The first iteration of Sim's curatorial project, Orbital Time, is inspired by her visit to the Breguet museum as well as its manufacture in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux.

"What excites me about working with Frieze and Breguet is the potential to expand transdisciplinary discourses and perspectives. Reflecting on Breguet's heritage of invention and know-how, I aim to explore how our perception of time is constructed, and how contemporary art can represent time occurring beyond the linear," she said.

Oracles, Owls...Some Animals Never Sleep by Ann Lislegaard.

The first component of Orbital Time is a new configuration of Raqs Media Collective's I Fall In Love Out Of Orbit (2009) comprising nine clocks displaying the time of six real cities and three imaginary places.

The numbers on the clock face are replaced by words related to states of mood and mind, expressing emotions that evolve throughout the day.

Raqs Media Collective was founded in 1992 by New Delhi-based artists Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta.

They also created Whenever The Heart Skips A Beat (2012), displayed on a flat monitor, showing a clock ticking in an unsettling way from the mechanisms of rewinding, fast-forwarding, slow-forwarding and duplicating.

Together these two works play with conventions of horological history and disrupt our notion of time as a single, universal, linear concept.

"I want to show the complexity of a 'universal' time, allowing us to recontextualise time across geopolitical divisions, cultural differences and other boundaries," said Sim.

In a darkened room posted in the heart of the Breguet Lounge, the third element of Orbital Time involves an LED screen presenting a video work, Oracles, Owls...Some Animals Never Sleep by Norwegian artist Ann Lislegaard.

An artificial owl emerges from the darkness, stuttering and hesitating in a language that fails to articulate a vision. Instead of being a wise oracle, the owl's utterances frame the concept of time against a horizon of cultural, technological and natural disorder.

The next chapter of Sim's curated series will be unveiled at Frieze Seoul, which will take place from Sept 6-9 at COEX in Gangnam district.

Breguet Lounge at the recent Frieze New York at The Shed in Manhattan.

Whenever The Heart Skips A Beat at the Breguet Lounge.

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