St_age new initiative by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

20 october, 2020
Yeo Siew Hua, 'An Invocation to the Earth', 2020.

St_age (streamimg age) is an online commissions initiative launched by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) to mitigate against cultural loss in the current climate. There are planning to be two seasons with 12 episodes each of them containing artwork, research clusters about the topic of work, conversation and fundraising campaign supporting it. Season 1 of st_age, curated by Soledad Gutiérrez, is now available on the website. There also is an exhibition — How to Tread Lightly — a series of cinematic presentations, audio experiences and artificial intelligence works in the galleries of the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza now represent transformations and translations of st_age episodes from a digital-first realm.

It is the first project of its kind that embraces the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, SDG program while raising awareness of the most relevant and pressing issues of our times, through the lens of art. For Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, founder of TBA21, both st_age and now How to Tread Lightly, are manifestations of a vision of a new art world. «There is a critical need to shift and transform the structure of the arts ecosystem towards more social responsibility. This is a vision of more collaboration rather than competition, and of helping support artists at the very source of their practice», she says. How to Tread Lightly also provides a wide overview of contemporary artistic practice by working with a new generation of artists within their communities and from diverse geographies. It invites artists to imagine potential futures and how we all might re-situate ourselves. It is a call for change and a call to action.

The challenge of conceiving an exhibition design that transplants st_age’s online seedlings into the spaces of the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza has been realized by Enorme Studio, the Madrid based architecture group. A Mind Map of the entire project as it grows, designed in collaboration with Jotateam Studio, is included in the exhibition to map out the connections between the commissions, related curatorial topics, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the various Calls to Action that spring from st_age. 

Artists: Dana Awartani, Patricia Domínguez, Virginie Dupray and Faustin Linyekula with Dorine Mokha, freq_wave by Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Courtney Desiree Morris, Eduardo Navarro with BaRiya, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Christian Salablanca Díaz, Yeo Siew Hua, Himali Singh Soin with David Soin Tappeser, and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané.