Press Release

A few decades ago, the term liquid intelligence would only be understood as a metaphor, a poetic way of expressing a correspondence between human intelligence (the only one possible until very recently for many), and the intelligence of water. Today, we are using this term as the title of the exhibition in a much more assertive and literal way. This exhibition can be read as a cloud of birds or a large school of fish, members of the same species —artworks— belonging to very different moments in history and geographies, are brought together and set in motion to communicate a single idea, that all forms of life are in permanent intercommunication.



International exhibitions

International ongoing exhibitions

Liquid Intelligence

Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid (Spain)

10.10.2023 -28.01.2024




Because of our limitations, we are absolutely incapable of seeing or hearing even a fraction of the flow of conversations passing around us in every moment. But no political action, no change-oriented policy can become effective or sustain itself in the imagination of humanity without taking into account the infinite power of these invisible conversations. This is the ultimate reason why TBA21 develops its work both with scientists and policy makers, and with artists.

Liquid Intelligence is a collective exhibition that embodies the premises of a new epistemological paradigm, an intelligence that has agency in all the realms of the organic and the inorganic, and fosters a way of sensing the Ocean to ignite positive action and research on care for the planet. We have created a substance capable of carrying that message in millions of possible ways. Like a stone falling on the surface of the water, the circles that speak to us of this event are composed of artworks that are the direct result of conversations with the artists.

There is no obvious connection between the works of Ana Mendieta and Jumana Manna, yet, the incredible intuitive act of Mendieta wanting to become one with trees and the earth is very similar to Manna’s interest in the organs we humans have fabricated to create artificial bodies in a constructed world. Lucas Arruda embraces similar dreams in his atmospheres of the Amazon, paintings between imagination and reality.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz’s audiovisual installation about the way the Caribbean coastlines are subject to constant movement between land and sea is informed by a similar research approach as in Sonia Levy’s audiovisual piece that studies Venice and its lagoon “from below” to draw attention to the submerged, life-giving, and altered bio-geomorphological processes of the city.

The third family of works by Saelia Aparicio, Anne Duk Hee Jordan, and Inês Zehna shares an interest in aesthetic exuberance and historical moments in which art creates a language to speak of crisis. These three artists’ works emphasize experiences possessed by imagination and fantasy that are capable of proposing ways of thinking that could overcome the obstacles presented by the real situation.

With this exhibition we aim to create a field of connectivity between systems. The creation of a gigantic, voracious field of perception that could explore all the different ways that the senses open to thought means believing fervently in art as the place from which the invention and production of a new world could be born. Liquid intelligence is a pedagogical substance, a network of impulses, that keeps the world attentive to the dangers that lie in waiting, capable of correcting the course of harmful actions, capable of telling stories, capable of allowing itself to be caressed by artists and to show itself in their works again and again to enlarge our understanding of it.

Artists: Saelia Aparicio, Lucas Arruda, Ann Duk Hee Jordan, Sonia Levy, Jumana Manna, Ana Mendieta, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz and Inês Zenha.

Curated by Chus Martínez with Soledad Gutiérrez and María Montero Sierra.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive public program convening leading curators, artists, musicians, performers, scientists, philosophers, and international researchers, who propose their approaches to aquatic life in performances, encounters, talks, and screenings. Liquid Intelligence will be a place for learning and discussion, starting from artistic and scientific perspectives, and imagining a place where our senses operate differently and perceive the multiplicity of existing life forms. A place where all forms of life and their intelligences coexist without resorting to hierarchies, violence, or destruction.—Chus Martínez, curator.

Exhibition 10 October 2023 - 28 January 2024. Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Paseo del Prado, 8 - 28014 Madrid (Spain). Hours: Monday 12–4pm, Tuesday–Sunday 10am–7pm, Saturday 10am–9pm





Liquid Intelligence, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2023. All Rights Reserved

Design: Koln Studio.