MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 30, 2011-- From the 10th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts today announced acclaimed Turkish artists Yasemin Baydar and Birol Demir, known as :mentalKLINIK, as the newest members of the LM100 family. Selected by Jérôme Sans, Le Méridien’s Cultural Curator since 2006, LM100 is a group of international innovators of mixed generations and interdisciplinary artistic fields chosen from the worlds of art, architecture and cuisine, who use their creativity to develop original and interactive programs for Le Méridien that transform the guest experience. As members of the LM100 family, :mentalKLINIK has been engaged by Le Méridien on a variety of creative initiatives, including designing new keycards for Le Méridien UNLOCK Art programme and constructing a custom installation upon arrival at Le Méridien Istanbul, opening in early 2012.
“I am very excited about the development of the LM100 group over the past five years,” said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and W Hotels Worldwide. “Le Méridien, under the guidance of Jérôme Sans, has engaged a variety of creative spirits from not only different disciplines but also cultural capitals worldwide, such as Istanbul. We are very proud to introduce :mentalKLINIK as our newest LM100 members in anticipation of the opening of Le Méridien Istanbul.”
Hailing from Istanbul, Baydar and Demir formed :mentalKLINIK in 1998 and soon after, in 2000, established an exhibition space. The artists regularly run exhibitions as a way to present their unique artistic and theoretical approach to the greater community, and a consistent theme of their contemporary work is to reflect upon the habits of consumption and production. Their keycards for Le Méridien adopt a simple, yet stunning design with the intention to stir thoughts and provide a new perspective in the beholder through the combination of color, oxymoron, and intense language such as “Viciously Vivacious” or “Obnoxiously Happy.”
:mentalKLINK’s artwork will provide the illustration for Le Méridien’s UNLOCK ART programme, which introduces hotel keycards as pieces of limited edition artwork while also unlocking a local contemporary cultural art center by offering complimentary entry. Current Le Méridien UNLOCK ART partners include Le Palais de Tokyo in Paris, The Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis and The Tate Galleries in London and many more around the world. LM100 members Michael Lin, Sam Samore, Yan Lei and Hisham Bharoocha have also designed a keycard series in the past few years.
Sans along with Carlo Bach, Art Director of illycaffè, Le Méridien brand’s global coffee partner, have also selected :mentalKLINIK to design a limited edition of an illy collection cup. For 20 years and with more than 70 artists, illy has been producing a special collection of espresso cups, which continue to become collector’s items around the world. The illy collection cup will be available on www.illy.com this spring.
:mentalKLINIK will be formally introduced to cultural innovators and prominent members of the artist community at the home of LM100 members Richard and Rana Florida on November 29th at Art Basel Miami Beach. Jérôme Sans will join the Floridas in welcoming these important members to the Le Méridien community.
:mentalKLINIK is an artist duo from Istanbul, founded in 1998. Yasemin Baydar and Birol Demir established their own space in 2000 to present their artistic and theoretical approach. Yasemin Baydar is a graduate of MSU Faculty of Fine Arts. Together with the Kültür Group, she organized the “A Gender Project from Istanbul” exhibition in Zurich in 1996 and with it the book entitled, Kültür. After graduating from the Mimar Sinan University's Faculty of Fine Arts in 1990, Birol Demir continued his MA studies at the same faculty, and in 1990, he started working at the Avanos Municipality Artists' District and Ceramics Museum. He has held numerous solo and collective exhibitions since 1990. :mentalKLINIK’s work focuses on modern habits of consumption and production, transforming anything from our present time into material for their artworks. The artists push the boundaries of interdisciplinary methods, reflecting on contemporary reality through the means of sound, action, object, text and form. Together the artists dislocate the materials already detached from everyday reality and create a new perspective which is awkward, alien and uncanny within the exhibition space.
Le Méridien has introduced LM100, a group of cultural innovators of mixed generations and interdisciplinary artistic fields, chosen from the fields of art, architecture, cuisine, and design by Le Méridien’s Cultural Curator. LM100 members will offer their creativity and develop original and interactive programs for Le Méridien hotels worldwide that will transform the guest experience. LM100 members will curate Le Méridien’s interactive initiatives and propose other established or emerging talents that reflect the brand’s core values. Current LM100 members include Le Méridien’s Cultural Curator, Jérôme Sans; world renowned artists, Sam Samore, Joan Fontcuberta, An Xiaotong, Younès Rahmoun, Youssef Nabil and Michael Lin; wine expert Linda Grabe; award-winning photographer Ralph Gibson; coffee expert Andrea illy; master barista Fritz Storm; French-born, internationally renown three-star Michelin Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten; French-born Grammy award winner and composer Henri Scars Struck; Le Labo founders Fabrice Penot and Edouard Roschi; up-and-coming filmmaker Kiki Allgeier; and renowned furniture designer Nick Dine.
Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented in 100 properties in 50 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a large-scale hotels product consolidation as well as redefining its brand strategy. By appointing a full-time Cultural Curator – French arts-provocateur Jérôme Sans – Le Méridien transformed numerous guest touch points, thus brining unique and interactive experiences to its guests. With close to 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provides a strong international complement to Starwood’s primarily North American holdings. Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien hotels and resorts within the next five years, concentrating in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia-Pacific, including destinations such as India, Thailand and China. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Bangkok, Dallas, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Shimei Bay, Xiamen, Chongqing Nan’an and Qingdao (China), Taipei, and Coimbatore (India). The launch of Le Méridien in Turkey, a key fast growing market for Starwood, will be opening next year. For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com.
Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Megan Lechich, 212-228-8181