Antarctic Resolution
October 1 – October 12, 2021
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Antarctic Resolution. Image courtesy of UNLESS. Copyright: Delfino Sisto Legnani
MNTB Madrid


The Antarctic is a Global Commons which accounts for 10% of our planet's landmass, yet its place in our collective consciousness is very small compared to its impact on our global ecosystem.

Aspiring to construct a high-resolution image of our seventh continent, and coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica, "Antarctic Resolution” is a twofold format publication and exhibition that presents the first of its kind holistic body of research on Antarctica, and the result of a three-year research. Through authored texts, photographic essays, and data-based visual portfolios, the publication maps the unparalleled scientific potential of this continent, as well as its current geopolitical significance, experimental governance system, and extreme inhabitation model. The project "Antarctic Resolution” is led by Giulia Foscari / UNLESS and is developed in collaboration with over 150 multidisciplinary leading Antarctic experts.

Far from being a pristine natural landscape, Antarctica is a contested territory concealing resources that may prove irresistible in a world of ever-increasing technological demands and population growth. The 26 quadrillion tons of ice accumulated on its bedrock—the equivalent of 70% of our planet’s freshwater—represent both the most significant repository of scientific data available, which provides crucial information for future environmental policies, and the greatest menace to coastal settlements, which are threatened by sea levels rising due to anthropogenic global warming.

First shown at the 17th Architecture Biennale of Venice, “Antarctic Resolution” is presented again on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza. The treaty is a crucial instrument that safeguards the integrity of the white desert by designating it as a natural reserve consecrated to peace and science. It imposes international cooperation and enforces a ban on activities associated with the extraction of mineral resources, which could dangerously fuel nationalistic visions of territorial dominance in this Global Commons. Aimed at facilitating a platform in which citizens can undertake informed Antarctic resolutions to shape the future of our planet, “Antarctic Resolution” calls for action. 

Produced by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary as an integral part of its commitment to support artistic research projects underlining the urgencies caused by our anthropogenic world, “Antarctic Resolution” is exhibited in Madrid alongside a monumental photograph of the Antarctic ice sheet taken during NASA’s Operation IceBridge by Paolo Pellegrin, as evidence of the alarming pace by which Antarctic glaciers are relentlessly calving icebergs into the Southern Ocean.

The participation of UNLESS with “Antarctic Resolution” to the official program of the Protocol on Environmental Protection anniversary is promoted by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition, the Ministry of Science and Innovation, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


On the occasion of the inauguration of the exhibition in Madrid, on October 2, 2021, a lecture-conference included a select panel of speakers asked to share their view on the state of affairs of Antarctica, in the spirit of care for the present and for the future of this incredible continent, with:

Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (TBA21 founding president and host)
Giulia Foscari (Antarctic Resolution) 
James N. Barnes (Founder of Antarctic & Southern Ocean Coalition, ASOC)
Pascal Lamy (Co-chair, Antarctica 2020)
Emil Dediu (Pew ​​Charitable Trusts)

This round table is promoted by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, with the participation of international Antarctic conservation advocates from the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC), Antarctica 2020 and the Pew Charitable Trusts and in collaboration with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Madrid, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition.
October 2, 2020, 12 pm
Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (TBA21 founding president and host)
Giulia Foscari (Antarctic Resolution) 
James N. Barnes (Founder of Antarctic & Southern Ocean Coalition, ASOC)
Pascal Lamy (Co-chair, Antarctica 2020)
Emil Dediu (Pew ​​Charitable Trusts)
Giulia Foscari and UNLESS
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