Therme Art Program

Therme Art and Therme Group Present Experiential Art Commissions At Sibiu International Festival

Therme Art and Therme Group proudly present a showcase of experiential art commissions by artists Refik Anadol and Egill Sæbjörnsson at the annual Sibiu International Theatre Festival 2023.

28 June – 2 July, 2023
Evangelical Church Sf. Maria, Sibiu, Romania

Under Therme Group’s Therme Forum for Theatre and Architecture programme are two installations: Flying Waters by Egill Sæbjörnsson (30 June) and Sense of Healing: AI Data Sculpture A – NFT Editions by Refik Anadol (28 June–2 July). These immersive artworks exemplify Therme Art’s dedication to collectively approaching current issues by redefining the experience of contemporary art viewing.

Therme Art and Therme Group are presenting five NFT Editions by Refik Anadol at the Evangelical Church Sf. Maria in central Sibiu, each of which correspond to a chapter within the artist’s main body of work: Sense of Healing: AI Data Sculpture A. Each NFT visualises the complexity of a different neural landscape based on data collected from EEG sensors, fMRI and DTI imaging techniques of brain activity.

Born out of extensive research conducted by mental health initiative MYND in collaboration with Refik Anadol Studio, the software-based artwork visually explores the intricate architecture of the human brain, and presents a diverse range of organic forms in motion to create a collective, multisensory and immersive experience.

Sense of Healing was first presented at Aurora Institute’s Evening of Discovery on 23 July 2022 as part of Therme Art’s programming curated by IKONA Collection. Twelve NFT Editions from the work were sold for over €1.4M, generating charitable proceeds for mental health initiatives including Klitschko and the Kevin Love Fund. The main work was auctioned at the 2022 LuisaViaRoma x UNICEF Summer Gala for a record-breaking €1.7M, with proceeds donated to the Gala as a part of Sotheby’s Charity initiative aimed at supporting UNICEF programmes that focus on child health and nutrition, access to safe water and sanitation, quality education and skill-building initiatives.

Flying Waters by Icelandic artist Egill Sæbjörnsson is a site-specific artwork and pilot project for The Mother, commissioned by Therme Art for Therme Group’s Therme Bucharest facility. On 30 June 2023, the work will be projected onto the façade of the Evangelical Church Sf. Maria, whose seven-story tower is the tallest in Romania.

The water jets form captivating shapes that challenge viewers’ perceptions and blur the line between real and virtual. Sæbjörnsson’s artistic endeavours revolve around the themes of technology, animation, virtual reality, and the intricacies of everyday life. His work highlights how our subjective preconceptions and responses shape our material world. Within the larger context of his video installation, The Mother, Flying Waters and other works are projected onto a water fountain inside a dome. Flying Waters was first unveiled at Therme Art x Messe in St. Agnes during Gallery Weekend Berlin and Berlin Art Week in 2020.

As a member of Therme Art’s Advisory Board, Sæbjörnsson brings his extensive knowledge and insight into Berlin’s cultural scene, aligning with Therme Art’s commitment to supporting the city’s institutions.

Refik Anadol (b. 1985, Istanbul), is an artist and designer pushing the boundaries of audio/visual performance, architectural photography, and media arts. With a background in Visual Communication Design and a master’s degree from Bilgi University, Anadol is currently pursuing his graduate studies at UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts. His works explore the intersection between digital and physical spaces, creating a dynamic relationship between architecture and media arts. By embedding media design into architectural contexts, Anadol challenges the notion of a post-digital future and invites viewers to reimagine the possibilities of interior and exterior architectural forms. His site-specific audio/visual performances have been showcased internationally, captivating audiences at events and venues such as the Ars Electronica Festival, Istanbul Design Biennial, and Outdoor Vision Festival Santa Fe. Anadol’s dedication to pushing artistic boundaries has earned him recognition, including the Turkish Cultural Foundation Cultural Exchange Fellowship and exhibitions at esteemed galleries like the Young Projects Gallery in Los Angeles.

Egill Sæbjörnsson (b. 1973, Iceland) is a visual multimedia artist and musician whose work seamlessly integrates sound, light, video, and installation form. His explorations delve into the intricate relationship between mental and physical realities, challenging perceptions and fostering a distinct visual language that transcends traditional categorizations. Sæbjörnsson has collaborated with artists and exhibitions at renowned venues globally, including the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum of Contemporary Art and Biennale Arte in Venice.

The Sibiu International Theatre Festival (FITS) is one of the world’s most important theatre and performing arts festivals in the world. Held annually in the city of Sibiu, Romania, every June for a duration of ten days, FITS has established itself as the third largest festival of its kind, following the Festival d’Avignon and the Edinburgh International Festival. Since its inception in 1993, FITS has been a platform for renowned international performers, presenting an array of programmes that encompass a diverse range of theatrical experiences.

The Therme Forum for Theatre and Architecture is an ongoing dialogue between arts and design professionals from around the world, exploring the symbiotic relationship between the Performing Arts and architecture. Started five years ago, this project is a three-way collaboration between the Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Therme Group and Arup. So far, the Forum has brought over 70 speakers from 21 countries together. Participants have discussed a wide range of topics including the impact of sustainability, digital technologies, architectural design, and funding approaches to designing and planning new cultural infrastructure.