July 4 – September 30, 2018 | Dubrovnik and Lopud

Oceans. Imagining a Tidalectic Worldview 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. Organized by TBA21-Academy and the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, the exhibition was presented in two parts, at the Museum of Modern Art in Dubrovnik and at the Lopud 1483. The symposium Return to the Sea spanned across the opening of Oceans in its two locations 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. 

…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

Coined by the Barbadian poet-historian Kamau Brathwaite, the term tidalectics describes a worldview that draws on “the movement of the water backwards and forwards as a kind of cyclic motion, rather than linear.” In this spirit the exhibition suggests a different way of engaging with the oceans and the world we inhabit. Unbound by land-based modes of thinking and living, it is reflective of the rhythmic fluidity of water and the incessant swelling and receding of the tides.  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.

Doug Aitken, Atif Akin, Darren Almond, Julian Charrière, Rineke Dijkstra, Elmgreen & Dragset, Tue Greenfort, Ariel Guzik, Newell Harry, Alexander Lee, Armin Linke, Eduardo Navarro, Lisa Rave, Sissel Tolaas, Janaina Tschäpe & David Gruber, Jana Winderen, Susanne M. Winterling

Stefanie Hessler

SYMPOSIUM RETURN TO THE SEA (link to the TBA21 website:–return-to-the-sea–1866)



In 2005, TBA21, a contemporary art foundation founded by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, collaborated with artist Olaf Nicolai and invited a group of artists and friends to gather on Lopud Franciscan monastery to collectively look out for the Tears of St. Lawrence, a yearly meteorite shower. The invitation became the founding event of the Lopud Seminars, a series of informal gatherings, which bring together international artists, curators, architects, scientists, and thinkers from diverse disciplines to seek out and occupy a space for exchange and debate. 

Nine seminars have since been staged, each one themed and framed around different artistic and or theoretical topics usually relating to the concerns of TBA21/ TBA21–Academy at that moment. The seminars are closed think tanks held in a colloquial context without spectators, where the hierarchies of presenter/audience, on- and off-stage are disrupted by a fluid and participatory choreography of events. The activities held during the seminars have taken multiple, dynamic forms, including but not limited to lectures, panel discussions, readings, performances, film screenings, live music, and dance.

Previous seminars: 

2005: Welcome to the Tears of St. Lawrence: An Appointment to Watch Falling Stars

2007: Patronage of Space 

2007: New Sites for Art / Art Demands New Typologies 

2008: Let’s Go MENTAL 

2011: Black Swans: Producing the Improbable 

2012: Unpredictability and Speculations 

2014: The Alchemical Paradigm

2016: The Forgotten Space 

2017: The Institution as an Agent of Change 

For more information about previous Lopud Seminars, please visit–LOPUD–6