Liquid Intelligence
October 10, 2023 – January 28, 2024
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Liquid Intelligence. Design: Köln Studio.
MNTB Madrid


Liquid Intelligence: How intelligence surpassed the human body to become plural and embrace the values of the Ocean

TBA21 presents Liquid Intelligence at the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, a group exhibition addressing the critical state of life in the Ocean that plunges the visitor into the Ocean and its ecosystems to ignite positive action and care for the planet.

A few decades ago, the term liquid intelligence would only be understood as a metaphor, a poetic way of expressing a correspondence between human intelligence (the only one possible until very recently for many), and the intelligence of water. Today, we are using this term as the title of the exhibition in a much more assertive and literal way. This exhibition can be read as a cloud of birds or a large school of fish, members of the same species —artworks— belonging to very different moments in history and geographies, are brought together and set in motion to communicate a single idea, that all forms of life are in permanent intercommunication. 
The curators, Chus Martínez with Soledad Gutiérrez and María Montero Sierra, have brought together the works of eight artists employing various languages to bring us closer to the Ocean and its aquatic ecosystems: Lucas Arruda, Ana Mendieta, Jumana Manna, Anne Duk Hee Jordan, Sonia Levy, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Saelia Aparicio, and Inês Zenha

Works from the TBA21 Collection include pieces by Ana Mendieta, Jumana Manna, and Lucas Arruda. Ana Mendieta's intuitive act of wanting to become one with trees and the earth is very similar to Jumana Manna’s interest in the organs we humans have fabricated to create artificial bodies in a constructed world. The work of Lucas Arruda embraces similar dreams in his atmospheres of the Amazon, paintings between imagination and reality.  

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz’s audiovisual installation on the way the Caribbean coastlines are subject to constant movement between land and sea is informed by a similar research approach as in Sonia Levy’s audiovisual piece that studies Venice and its lagoon “from below” to draw attention to the submerged, life-giving, and altered bio-geomorphological processes of the city. 

Works by Saelia Aparicio, Anne Duk Hee Jordan, and Inês Zehna share an interest in aesthetic exuberance and historical moments in which art creates a language to speak of crisis. These three artists’ works emphasize experiences possessed by imagination and fantasy that are capable of proposing ways of thinking that could overcome the obstacles presented by the real situation. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive public program convening leading curators, artists, musicians, performers, scientists, philosophers, and researchers from Spain and the international sphere who propose their approaches to aquatic life in performances, encounters, talks, and screenings. Liquid Intelligence will be a place for learning and discussion, starting from artistic and scientific perspectives, and imagining a place where our senses operate differently and perceive the multiplicity of existing life forms—a place where all forms of life and their intelligences coexist without resorting to hierarchies, violence, or destruction.
Saelia Aparicio, Lucas Arruda, Anne Duk Hee Jordan, Sonia Levy, Jumana Manna, Ana Mendieta, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz and Inês Zenha.
Chus Martínez
with Soledad Gutiérrez and María Montero Sierra.
Find out about all the activities here