Lernert & Sander - Everything and Handmade
Nominated by Carlo Wijnands:
Lernert & Sander
for Everything and Handmade

I nominate Lernert & Sander for the film Handmade and the perfume Everything, two projects that simultaneously conquer and comment on the world of advertising with humour and elegance.

The talented Amsterdam-based artists Lernert Engelberts and Sander Plug make conceptual art films and installations graced by simple yet beautiful art direction and driven by a subtle, dry, sometimes cheeky sense of humour.

In 2012, Lernert & Sander collected almost 1,400 samples of all perfumes launched that year. They mixed all the vials’ contents to create 1.5 litres of a perfume they called Everything. This unique scent is available in a specially designed handblown bottle that looks like an outsized sample vial. By combining and reusing some of the world’s abundant supply of perfumes, Lernert & Sander make a statement about mass consumption. The accompanying film is beautifully designed and shows the bottle being blown, the name being applied, and the artists mixing the collected samples in an imaginary laboratory. The birth of the new perfume is treated with utmost seriousness and precision. The believability of the entire package is what raises Everything above the level of an amusing concept. The project consists of more than just an idea: it also encompasses the making process and the presentation of the new fragrance. Lernert & Sander combine their skills as artists and directors in an impressive way.

They also succeed in doing so in their commissioned work. For its Handmade issue, Wallpaper magazine asked the duo to make a film honouring craftsmanship and put them in touch with the famous Italian suit maker Brioni. Lernert & Sander decided a hand would be the ultimate “customer” for modelling the work of Brioni’s master tailors and asked them to make a hand-sized bespoke suit. Their short film shows the material being cut, the suit being sewn, a tie being chosen and finally the hand being styled. It ends with footage of the clothed hand cheerfully and nonchalantly “walking” along like a jolly businessman. The film calls to mind the opening titles of a classic movie. The contrast between the apparently professional, traditional film and its light-hearted treatment of its subject makes for a humorous whole and an effective ode to craftsmanship.

As directors, Lernert & Sander occupy the centre of a world they simultaneously criticise as artists. In this position, they are unique. The lightness and simplicity of their approach is refreshing. Its breezy simplicity forms the basis of their identity and testifies to intelligent branding. Handmade and Everything are aesthetically satisfying but at the same time provocative, and they are therefore exemplary for commercial advertising.

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