TBA21­Augarten, Vienna presents Tidalectics by TBA21­Academy


Atif Akin, Darren Almond, Julian Charrière, Em’kal Eyongakpa, Tue Greenfort, Ariel Guzik, Newell Harry, Alexander Lee, Eduardo Navarro, Sissel Tolaas, Janaina Tschäpe & David Gruber, Jana Winderen, Susanne M. Winterling

TBA21–Academy is an itinerant site of cultural production and interdisciplinary research initiated by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. Conceived in 2011 with the aim to deepen our understanding of and relationship to the oceans, TBA21–Academy is delighted to announce the opening of its first exhibition, Tidalectics, on Friday, June 2 in Vienna. The exhibition is timed to coincide with the first-ever United Nations’ Ocean Conference, held in New York from June, 5-9.

Tidalectics presents thirteen artists whose distinctive works cast oceanic perspectives on the cultural, political, and biological dimensions of the oceans, examining the effects of human-made predicaments, such as climate change and sea-level rise, while reimagining human and “more-than-human” relationships. The exhibition features nine newly commissioned works, many flowing from the Academy’s expeditions in the Pacific Ocean, alongside exceptional pieces from the TBA21 collection. It will be accompanied by a series of spoken word-performances every Friday on the TBA21–Ephemeropteræ stage in Augarten, episodes from a Tidalectics radio series in collaboration with NTS Radio, as well as a comprehensive publication.

Tidalectics is an oceanic worldview, a different way of engaging with the oceans and the world we inhabit. Unbound by land-based modes of thinking and living, the exhibition is reflective of the rhythmic fluidity of water and the incessant swelling and receding of the tides.

Taking its title from a play on words by the celebrated Barbadian poet-historian Kamau Braithwaite, Tidalectics seeks to comprehend our histories as trajectories tossed by waves, from ocean crossings to systems of exchange, myths, and microbial origins. The exhibition highlights processes of cultural adaptation and material change, presenting a rich framework for understanding the coalescing polarities of contemporaneity and history, science and poetics, routes and roots, and ourselves—mostly land-dwelling humans—with the oceans and their many and diverse inhabitants.


Tidalectics coincides with the sixth Ephemeropteræ season, which features spoken-word performances every Friday in the TBA21–Ephemeropteræ pavilion in the Augarten, designed by David Adjaye. Manthia Diawara, Em’kal Eyongakpa and Jana Winderen will perform for the opening of Tidalectics, while a newly commissioned performance by Joan Jonas on June 23 marks a further highlight of the program. Ephemeropteræ has been curated by Boris Ondreička and Daniela Zyman from 2012 to 2016 and is being conceived in 2017 together with Stefanie Hessler and Markus Reymann.

With Ursula Biemann, Benjamin Bratton, Manthia Diawara, Em’kal Eyongakpa, Warwick Fox, Ellie Ga, David Gruber, Florian Hecker, David Horvitz, Joan Jonas, Hilary Koob-Sassen, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jonathan Ledgard, Chus Martínez, Nicola Masciandaro, Eduardo Navarro, Astrida Neimanis, Trevor Paglen, Josef Penninger, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Markus Reymann, Nainoa Thompson, Janaina Tschäpe, Jana Winderen, Susanne M. Winterling, Peter Zinovieff