Maximilian Büsser, founder of MB&F, tells Selections about Mechanical Art Devices and what makes them special
M.A.D. Gallery is set to open its first space in the Middle East in a warehouse on Alserkal Avenue, Dubai’s hip industrial arts area. Mechanical art devices crafted by outlier artists whose kinetic creations will rival your wildest mad scientist dreams will be exhibited alongside the MB&F’s haute horological machines.
Selections spoke with the founder of MB&F, Maximilian Büsser, about the gallery’s curatorial programme and the new Dubai-based space opening in January in partnership with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.
Danna Lorch: How will the gallery in Dubai be distinct from your spaces in Geneva and Taipei?
Maximilian Büsser: We are definitely not embarking on a typical branded DNA concept. Even though we are keeping the general feel and colour code, each gallery is very different. For example, Geneva and Taipei are in quaint old town locations and Dubai is in the Alserkal Extension, which is an amazing new warehouse concept. We are also actively working to curate Emirati and local mechanical/kinetic artists, which we will start showing as early as 2016.
DL: How does M.A.D. define a Mechanical Art Device and how does the medium differ from sculpture or design?
MB: Chicara Nagata spent 15 years honing his skills as the greatest motorcycle creator in history. During those years he only created and hand-crafted five bikes. Each took close to 7000 hours of handwork and is drop-dead gorgeous. In the process, he cut himself off from the rest of the world — family included — 100 percent dedication to his art. When we met him, he had never sold even one of those five pieces of art. In his words, he felt compelled to give his life for this work. Sure, many people would look at his works as just a means of transportation, but we see his work as the epitome of Mechanical Art.
DL: Your artists are inventing alternative universes and systems. Would you consider this a new kind of 21st-century outsider art?
MB: Art for me stems first of all from the artists and why they create. If it is a selfless need to express themselves in an innovative way, accompanied by incredible craftsmanship — then they qualify into our world. The art world has been completely polluted by greedy, talentless business people parading as artists, who have no place in our safe haven.
DL: Who will open the gallery in January?
MB: Beijing-based artist Xia Hang, French “Magician” Quentin Carnaille, UK/Holland duo Laikingland and Berlin-based artist Frank Buchwald, to name just a few. •