Therme Art Collaborates with Messe in St Agnes During Gallery Weekend Berlin 2020
Therme Art curates a dialogue space for art, science, architecture, cuisine, and economics in the courtyard of St Agnes Church during the 2020 edition of Gallery Weekend Berlin.
The heart of this programme is an extensive interdisciplinary discussion series comprising experts, artists, authors, and patrons. These events have been curated around two key themes in the Wellbeing Culture Forum – the humanistic approach of the Bauhaus movement and the Gaia Hypothesis of James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis. Whilst the Bauhaus artistic movement is aimed at penetrating all areas of life, the Gaia Hypothesis postulates a holistic view of the earth system and its interactions; in this scientific approach, the planet appears as a “Gesamtkunstwerk” of a living organism.
With these frameworks, the participants will speculate solutions for a cultural transformation of the Anthropocene era. In the face of the lasting pandemic and immense ecological and social challenges, issues of a different way of acting, of shaping multifunctional sites, and of creating immersive spaces between nature and culture cannot be ignored. Art has the potential to build these bridges.
In addition to the talks, a large-scale video projection by the Icelandic artist Egill Sæbjörnsson, Flying Waters, will be exhibited on the façade of St Agnes Church. This self-generative artwork includes digital water fountains that move freely across the building, playing with our senses and perception. Also taking place is a vegan thermal cuisine (heating or cooling) prepared by star chef Stephan Hentschel and Henrik Strempel, which will further stimulate body and mind. The entire programme aims to spur transformations from Breaking Bauhaus to Growing Gaia.
Hans Ulrich Obrist
The series is curated by Mikolaj Sekutowicz, who is co-hosting each panel discussion together with various partners and partner institutions from the private and public sector.
Tuesday 8 September – Sunday 20 September
Sunset to Midnight | Flying Waters, Egill Sæbjörnsson. The specially commissioned site-specific artwork is being projected onto the gable wall of St Agnes. A set of evocative and free-flowing water jets, the artwork uses the building to create an all-encompassing blanket, with the “flying waters” creating shapes and forms that interact both with the built environment and nature. Alongside, visitors will also be able to see a model of The Mother, an immersive landmark installation currently in development for a Therme Group facility
Friday, 11 September*
1–2:30 PM | Breaking Bauhaus: Renewing its Principles 100 Years Later. The Bauhaus movement revolutionised our cities and lifestyles 100 years ago out of an artistic impulse. Today, under the mono-cultivation of our planet, climate change and viral pandemics, we ask ourselves, what could it mean to renew the humanist Bauhaus idea considering local and ecological differences and desires. Panelists include: Virgil Abloh, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Roya Sachs, Kunlé Adeyemi, Marc Spiegler, Nicholas Grafia and Sumayya Vally
Session I: 3–4:30 PM, Session II: 5PM–6PM | Growing Gaia: Transforming a Hypothesis into Action. The Gaia Hypothesis, proposed by Lynn Margulis and James Lovelock in the 1970s, has become particularly relevant in light of the current crises. It is undeniably clear that today we must reposition ourselves within the totality of nature. How can artists, architects, scientists, and designers bring this theory to consciousness and translate it into action? Panelists include: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Francis Kéré, Tomás Saraceno, Abuelo Antonio Oxté, Cyrill Gutsch, Egill Sæbjörnsson, Lucia Pietroiusti, Mikolaj Sekutowicz, Stefano Mancuso, Tue Greenfort, Salome Rodeck (as Lynn Margulis) and James Lovelock represented by video clips
Saturday, 12 September**
12–1:30 PM | Creating in Crisis: Systems of Creativity and Improvisation. The COVID-19 pandemic has unsettled our institutionalised methods of art production and its reception. We must now learn to create in the void of uncertainty. How can we learn from improvisation, both as well as an artistic and architectural methodology. We must now learn to create in the void of uncertainty but crisis has always been a strong catalyst for creativity. How can we learn from improvisation? Panelists include: Marcus Fairs, Jeewi Lee, Johann König, Joulia Strauss, Julieta Aranda, Sarah Wilson and Matana Roberts
2:30–4 PM | Art as Healing: Transforming Interior and Exterior Life. Art can inspire, but it can also help us cope with the conflicts and confusions of daily life and locate spaces of community in dislocation. How can the therapeutic qualities of art serve as a catalyst for progress, in both urban and natural landscapes? How can art design spaces for spirituality, meaning and contemplation? Panelists include: Sissel Tolaas, Lucia Pietroiusti, Claudia Paetzold, David Russell, Roya Sachs, Lilleth Glimcher and Riya Hamid
4:45PM–6:15 PM | Liquid Experiences: Immersive Experiences in Art, Nature and Cities. Today, more and more contemporary artists are extending their canvas into physical, social and mental spaces, thus creating alternative spaces, instead of ones defined by history, religion and politics. The recently launched Superblue initiative unites artists using this approach worldwide. How can we expand this artistic impulse to create holistic urban spaces that enhance our mental and physical wellbeing? How could an experience economy promote sustainable and ecological living? Panelists include: Hannes Koch (Random International), Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Heiko Michels, Marc Glimcher, Robert Hanea, Sean Di Ianni (Meow Wolf), Sabine Himmelsbach and Takashi Kudo (teamLab)
Sunday, 13 September**
2:30–4 PM | Critical Culture: Artistic Strategies in Reshaping Reality. Among the acute crises, the fragility of our entire culture is revealed. Cultural players in particular are called upon today to apply their practices of transformation, adaptation and manifestation developed in the art space to social realities, to sculpt the future. The talk will reflect self-critically on new responsibilities. Panelists include: Monilola Ilupeju, Arthur Mamou-Mani, Moshtari Hilal, Julieta Aranda, Nicholas Grafia and Simon de Pury
4:45PM–6:15 PM | Berlin, Where Are We Now? A City as an Artistic Laboratory. Since the fall of the wall, Berlin has been an epicentre for artistic and architectural experiments and has attracted artists from all over the world. Recently, however, the international press spoke about “Berlin fatigue”. Within the current Zeitgeist, how can we take up, control and revive what was created in Berlin by a historical coincidence? What new ideas and forms emerged in the last half year that can be the driving force for innovation in the years to come? Panelists include: Adrienne Goehler, Anh-Linh Ngo, Freo Majer, Constanza Macras, Friederike von Brühl, Moritz van Dülmen, Ulrich Seibert and Yoram Roth.
*To attend Friday’s programme please rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org. Seating is limited.
**Saturday and Sunday’s programme is open to the public and requires admission to König Galerie
All talks can be watched live on the following Therme Art, König Galerie, St Agnes and Dezeen media channels:
In partnership with
Therme Food Dinner, with chef Stephan Hentschel
Therme Food Dinner, with chef Henrick Strempel
Photo Credits: Therme Art © Jendrick Schröder