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Superflex to sail across the Pacific for eco-art initiative

Danish collective will board the Dardanella ship as part of latest environmental project led by TBA21-Academy

Installation view of Fishing for Islands at the Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin Photo: Leslie Ranzoni

The Danish artist collective Superflex will take part in an expedition across the Pacific Ocean as part of an ongoing environmental initiative organised by the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary organisation, known as TBA21-Academy. The Superflex artists—who have taken over Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall with their installation One Two Three Swing! (until 2 April 2018)—will board a ship called Dardanella for the second leg (2018-20) of a “multiphase fellowship” known as The Current.

“They will guide one expedition annually in the Pacific Ocean, and select fellow participants, comprised of experts, curators, artists, and thought-leaders to join them, thereby cultivating the exchange of new interdisciplinary ideas to foster ocean conservation,” a TBA21-Academy spokeswoman says. The Spanish curator Chus Martinez will meanwhile lead separate expeditions across the Pacific. "Each one will guide their own expedition annually over the course of the three-year cycle," the spokeswoman says.

Meanwhile, last weekend (27-29 October), TBA21 organised a weekend of ambitious “oceanic performances, installations and panels” entitled Fishing for Islands at the Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin. Speakers included the US artist and geographer Trevor Paglen along with the Norwegian scholar Davor Vidas; issues such as rising sea levels, migration and biodiversity were on the agenda. The Argentine artist Eduardo Navarro presented a mime ballet accompanied by an installation featuring images drawn from the TBA21-Academy archive.

A show inspired by the oceans, Tidalectics, continues at the TBA21 Augarten space in Vienna this week (until 19 November). Earlier this year, the patron and collector Francesca von Habsburg, who founded TBA21-Academy, told us: “This will be the last exhibition for TBA21 in this venue [the Augarten] for some time as the foundation is relocating its collection to Prague, following an invitation by the director general of the national gallery, Jiri Fajt, and the National Gallery chief curator, Adam Budak.”

The spokeswoman for TBA21 says that nonetheless the foundation may continue programming in its Augarten space, and is planning to continue a range of programmes around the world.