Institut Kunst
Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst
Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz

Atelier Gebäude A 1.10
Oslo-Strasse 3
4142 Münchenstein b. Basel

Tram 11, Station Freilager
T +41 61 228 40 77

Institut Kunst HGK FHNW
Freilager-Platz 1
CH-4002 Basel




“Fishing for Islands”

A weekend of oceanic performances, installations and panels presented by TBA21–Academy, with a special evening initiating a new collaboration with the Art Institute in Basel.

• October 27–29, 2017. Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
• Free entry


The title “Fishing for Islands” is based on a Polynesian creation myth, according to which the archipelagos’ islands were fished out of the sea. Within 36 hours, i.e. three tide cycles, the project comprises a diverse program of oceanic activities in the historic hall of the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.


The program, curated by Stefanie Hessler and Markus Reymann, begins on Friday, October 27 with an experimental circus organized by Chus Martínez and titled “Fishes shoud not be taken from the deep!” Films, Mime and Misticismo (read more below). It is followed on Saturday, October 28 by panels and lectures featuring artists, curators, scholars, and other thinkers whose work is deeply engaged with oceanic spaces. Questions of legality and biodiversity will be discussed, as well as the consequences of pollution on ecological balance and traditional methods of protecting the oceans.


“Fishing for Islands” arose from the program of TBA21–Academy, which was founded in 2011 as a mobile site for cultural production and hosts artists, scholars, and other thinkers on board the ship Dardanella. The Academy’s expeditions led to some of the most remote regions in the Pacific – Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia, Fiji, and Tonga – as well as to Iceland, North America, and the Caribbean, to name just a few. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the Academyʼs program is dedicated to fostering engaged ways of caring for the oceans.


This event is part of a research and exhibition project of the Nationalgalerie, which is supported by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) as part of the ‘Museum Global’ initiative. The project culminates in an exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof from March 23 to August 19, 2018, which will explore the Nationalgalerie’s collection in regard to its international and transcultural ties.


Participants: Tamatoa Bambridge, Lars Eckstein, Jelena Glazova, Tue Greenfort, Francesca von Habsburg, Matthias Haeckel, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Stefanie Hessler, Katherine Houghton, Ferkel Johnson, Kai Kaschinski, Jacob Kirkegaard, Armin Linke, Tiphanie Mall, Markus Reymann, Chus Martínez, Christopher Myers, Eduardo Navarro, Trevor Paglen, Silent Rocco, David Rothenberg, Andrew Spyrou, Sissel Tolaas, Sebastian Unger, Davor Vidas, Shabnam Virmani, Jana Winderen, Susanne M. Winterling, Kateryna Zavoloka, Peter Zinovieff


Full program:


About “Fishes shoud not be taken from the deep!”
Films, Mime and Misticismo

October 27, 2017, 6–10 pm


The first evening of “Fishing for Island” presents a special program conceived by Chus Martínez. Films, Mime and Misticismo considers the fact that not only swimming or researching in the sea, or thinking about the sea is important, but that a new mimesis of the seas is at the heart of developing a new sensorium with the oceans.


Take the seas as that “one thing,” a source, for a new imagination of the world. Think about the seas as an organ, not as a place or a medium, but as a fantastic addition to sensation, and, therefore to affection, and therefore to the future of science and technology and art, but also to the future of love. Think of the seas as you might think about philosophy, as an infinite substance aimed to provide us with an experience so radically different from the commonsensical that it will insulate new life to life.


And so, the first day of “Fishing for Islands” is aimed to understand the radical importance of inventing all the attributes of the sea. Understanding that it is not a “thing” we possess nor a place or a part we protect, but a whole new plane, an infinite image were unknown intuitions and ideas coexist without belonging to any particular mind, human or other animal. The program approaches the seas as an infinite perceptual image aimed to saturate our verbal narratives, so that we may emerge with another language to tell and sing about a new world.


The evening needs to be understood as an exercise, whose main goal is to approximate ourselves to a new form of becoming that will affect life, that is affecting art – and therefore politics, since the polis were never in the seas. It is an exercise to identify artists, scientists, poets, singers and dancers as those able to trace the moving away from learning and thinking solely from the realm of the social sciences. It is not about the seas, but from the seas that a mode of an inextinguishable good will to stress the importance of art and artists in all the realms of knowledge will challenge back the dry, the Earth, the social, the real, the world.


The program will present Untitled Hands, a ballet conceived by Eduardo Navarro for two mimes and four mechanical hands. It will be accompanied by an image installation emerging from the visual archive of TBA21–Academy The Current by artist Tiphanie Mall and a series of activations – acrobatics – by circus artist Ferkel Johnson, with Silent Rocco. They are joined by the voice of musician and performer Shabnam Virmani singing the songs of Kabir, one of the most interesting personalities in the history of Indian mysticism.


Chus Martínez, Head of the Art Institute in Basel, was recently named expedition leader of the TBA21–Academy The Current cycle 2018-2020.



Photo: Markus Reymann, TBA21–Academy



Institut Kunst
Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst
Atelier Gebäude A 1.10, Oslo-Strasse 3, 4142 Münchenstein b. Basel

Tram 11 Station Freilager, Freilager-Platz 1, Postfach 22, 4023 Basel
+41 61 228 40 77,,,

Institut Kunst HGK FHNW, Freilager-Platz 1, Postfach, CH-4002 Basel

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