Fishing for Islands
October 27 – October 29, 2017
Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

Photo: Markus Reymann, TBA21–Academy

From October 27–29, 2017, TBA21–Academy presents “Fishing for Islands“ in collaboration with Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. The title is based on a Polynesian creation myth, according to which the archipelagos’ islands were fished out of the sea. Within 36 hours, i.e. three tide cycles, the project comprises a diverse program of oceanic activities in the historic hall of the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.

The program, curated by Stefanie Hessler and Markus Reymann, begins on Friday, October 27 with an experimental ‘circus’ organized by Chus Martínez. It is followed on Saturday, October 28 by panels and lectures featuring artists, curators, scholars, and other thinkers whose work is deeply engaged with oceanic spaces. Questions of legality and biodiversity will be discussed, as well as the consequences of pollution on ecological balance and traditional methods of protecting the oceans. Throughout the weekend, performative interventions and artists’ installations will open up new perspectives on traditional and mythological dimensions of the oceans, as well as on infrastructure and migration. Among them are the installation “Dræbergople” (2017) by Tue Greenfort and the video installation “Oceans – Dialogues between Ocean Floor and Water Column” (2017) by Armin Linke, which shows recordings from scientific studies conducted in the deep sea up to 5.000 meters below sea level. The presentation of the video installation is accompanied by a conversation with experts, who will discuss the impact of human activity on the ocean floor. A series of sound performances by artists like Jana Winderen, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, and Peter Zinovieff invites visitors on Saturday evening to immerse themselves into the soundscape of the sea until the early hours of the next morning.

“Fishing for Islands” arose from the program of TBA21–Academy, which was founded in 2011 as a mobile site for cultural production and hosts artists, scholars, and other thinkers on board the ship Dardanella. The Academy’s expeditions led to some of the most remote regions in the Pacific – Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia, Fiji, and Tonga – as well as to Iceland, North America, and the Caribbean, to name just a few. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the Academyʼs program is dedicated to fostering engaged ways of caring for the oceans. 

This event is part of a research and exhibition project of the Nationalgalerie, which is supported by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) as part of the ‘Museum Global’ initiative. The project culminates in an exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof from March 23 to August 19, 2018, which will explore the Nationalgalerie’s collection in regard to its international and transcultural ties.

Armin Linke’s work Oceans is an official project of the Year of Science 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans, a program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The project was commissioned and co-produced by TBA21–Academy. The installation was realized in collaboration of the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art.
Additional support by the Art Institute, FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel.
For full schedule, please see the Fishing for Islands microsite.
Fri 27.10.2017 :  6 pm – 10 pm

Sat 28.10.2017 :  3 pm – 12 am

Sun 29.10.2017 :  12 am – 6 am
Tamatoa Bambridge, Lars Eckstein, Jelena Glazova, Tue Greenfort, Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, Matthias Haeckel, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Stefanie Hessler, Katherine Houghton, Ferkel Johnson, Kai Kaschinski, Jacob Kirkegaard, Armin Linke, Tiphanie Mall, Markus Reymann, Chus Martínez, Christopher Myers, Eduardo Navarro, Trevor Paglen, Silent Rocco, David Rothenberg, Andrew Spyrou, Sissel Tolaas, Sebastian Unger, Davor Vidas, Shabnam Virmani, Jana Winderen, Susanne M. Winterling, Kateryna Zavoloka, Peter Zinovieff