Return to the Sea
July 4 – July 6, 2018
Dubrovnik and Lopud

Atif Akin, Tepoto Sud morph Moruroa, 2017. Still: the artist

The symposium Return to the Sea spans across the opening of Oceans. 
Imagining a Tidalectic Worldview
in its two locations — the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik (MOMAD) and the Franciscan Monastery on Lopud—to inaugurate the exhibition by focusing on the important issues facing the oceans today and on the policies that could bring about change as seen through the lens of art. The symposium includes talks and panels by the curators and leaders of TBA21–Academy, as well as artists whose work is included in the exhibition and other key voices from the Adriatic concerned with the impact of human interference on oceanic ecosystems and local communities. With this symposium, TBA21–Academy wants to create new connections that are not otherwise possible in the academic and institutional context. What do marine biologists and architects have in common? Where do philosophers and mining experts meet? How do designers and policymakers talk to one another? What are the new fields and professions that could emerge from this in the future? What new forms of institutions can be imagined from the fluid foundation of the ocean?

…like the movement of the ocean she’s walking on, coming from one continent/continuum, touching another, and then receding (“reading”) from the island(s) into the perhaps creative chaos of the(ir) future… —Kamau Brathwaite

The exhibition Oceans. Imagining a Tidalectic Worldview suggests a different way of engaging with the oceans and the world we inhabit. Unbound by land-based modes of thinking and living, the exhibition and concurrent symposium are reflective of the rhythmic fluidity of water and the incessant swelling and receding of the tides. With this, the third installment of TBA21–Academy’s first exhibition, and its first coastal display Oceans, presents 17 artists whose works cast oceanic perspectives on the cultural, political, and biological dimensions of the oceans, some examining the effects of human-made issues such as climate change and sea-level rise, and others reimagining human and “more-than-human” relationships. Curated by Stefanie Hessler, Oceans is comprised of nine new commissions, many the result of the Academy’s expeditions in the Pacific Ocean, alongside some exceptional pieces from the TBA21 collection.
Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik
Umjetnička galerija Dubrovnik
Frana Supila 23, Dubrovnik

Franciscan Monastery Lopud
Samostan Gospe od Špilice 
Island of Lopud

Atif Akin, artist; Žana Baća, Head of Conservation Department in Dubrovnik; Kruno Bonačić, Aquaculture scientist, University of Dubrovnik; Sandro Carniel, scientist, CNR-ISMAR; Sebastian Cichocki, chief curator, Moma, Warsaw; Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, chairwoman, TBA21; Newell Harry, artist; Stefanie Hessler, curator, TBA21–Academy; Alex Jordan, scientist; Alexander Lee, artist; Antonia Majaca, curator; Rasmus Nielsen (superflex), artist; John Palmesino (Territorial Agency), architect; Ivana Palunko, Control Systems and Robotics Scientist, University of Dubrovnik; Markus Reymann, director, TBA21–Academy; Florian Schneider, head of department, Trondheim Academy of Fine Art at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU); Jelena Tamindžija, International Project Manager, MOMAD; Sissel Tolaas, artist; Slaven Tolj, artist; Jana Winderen, artist; Susanne M. Winterling, artist; Daniela Zyman, chief curator, TBA21
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik

6 pm  Welcome speeches

6:20 pm
Panel #1: Imagining a Tidalectic Worldview: Closer to the Shore

Artist talk, presented and moderated by Stefanie Hessler and Jelena Tamindžija. With Newell Harry, Alexander Lee, Susanne M. Winterling
This is the third iteration of Oceans. Imagining a Tidalectic Worldview, previously titled Tidalectics. Surprisingly, considering its oceanic focus, this is the first time an exhibition takes place on the water’s edge. Stefanie Hessler will introduce the project and discuss, together with Jelena Tamindžija, the process of translation and reconfiguration of the exhibition and what it actually means to Return to the Sea. From there, the discussion will open up to include artists from the exhibition, whose work engages with cultural and environmental concerns that costal regions face, providing a space for these artists to describe their personal engagement with the oceans both through and outside of their artworks. 

Panel #2: Sensing the Oceans

Presented and moderated by John Palmesino. With Atif Akin, Kruno Bonačić, Sandro Carniel, Alex Jordan, Rasmus Nielsen, Ivana Palunko
The ocean is a sensorium: it is a space that registers change and it challenges senses. Science and art are transforming the understanding of the ocean, how it is perceived from the multiplicity of life forms that inhabit its dynamic environments, how different cultural forms shape modes of life in the oceans. This panel addresses advances in arts and science of the oceans, and links them with new forms of engagement and preservation of the ocean.
8 pm: Exhibition opening

Friday, July 6, 2018
Fortress and Franciscan Monastery, Lopud

This event is by registration only. Please register at

5:45 pm
Panel #3: Artistic Intelligence and Collaborative Survival
Presented and moderated by Markus Reymann
With Florian Schneider, Sissel Tolaas, Susanne M. Winterling

This panel focuses on the role of artistic intelligence—the way artists interact with and use primary experience as a way to communicate their ideas and create scenarios to sense our position in the world. What role could artistic intelligence play in the exploration of the oceans, and how it might be fruitful in tackling some of the pressing issues of our time. The participants will discuss artistic intelligence in order to speculate about which new tools and sensorial capacities might emerge in an arena unbounded of disciplines, without losing their respective authenticity.

6:30 pm 
Panel #4: Restoration, Revitalization, and the Future of the 1483 Monastery Complex on Lopud

A conversation between Žana Baća and Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza
Following nearly 20 years of adaptive restoration work, the Franciscan Monastery on Lopud is reopening its doors to the public, thus contributing again to the cultural life of the island. A glimpse into the past 18 years of conservation will lead to a conversation about the site’s future as a sanctuary for artistic work and knowledge production in a neutral space. Together, Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza and Žana Baća ask: How does a nation redefine its policies through the lens of artistic practice? This conversation will then lead to:

Re-mediating Sites of Culture
Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza and Žana Baća, in conversation with Sebastian Cichocki, Antonia Majaca, Slaven Tolj, Jelena Tamindžija, and Daniela Zyman

Historic sites such as 1483 Lopud are reserves of culture that ask to be recharged as incubators for the future, rather than be frozen in an ideology of conservation. How are we as cultural producers meant to use these sites and how to remediate their function in a way that would reflect their transformation and mirror their contemporary role in society? Remediation resonates with the words “remedy” and “mediation” and engages us in pioneering practices of cultural experimentation. The panel is invited to workshop and to present solutions for and imagine the transformation of such exceptional sites to inspire and test innovative ideas for the future.
Inaugurated in 2005 and now in its 11thiteration, the Lopud Seminars have been an agent for the knowledge production that has emanated from TBA21. Following the model of a remote, insular secret society, these heretic gatherings test the possibilities of “situatedness,” the contextual and localized unfolding of knowledge, creativity, and imaginary practices. 

8 pm
Jana Winderenbára live concert

Fortress or Cloister (depening on weather)

8:45 pm Exhibition opening and speeches