Release of 18.09.2019

Public Programme announced for Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary exhibition in Madrid

Tomás Saraceno, Living at the bottom, 2018

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TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary has today announced its programme of public events to accompany the exhibition “More-Than-Humans” at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, opening on 25 September 2019. The programme, aimed at attracting new audiences, and engaging with the emerging contemporary art scene in Madrid. It ranges widely from an Artists’ Conference, to a workshop on arachnophilia and spider web mapping.

Presented by Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), “More-Than-Humans” is an exhibition of seminal works by leading international artists Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Tomás Saraceno which focuses on otherworldly intelligences that surpass human understanding. The exhibition, curated by Stefanie Hessler, invites viewers to explore works that question artificial intelligence, the collective minds of animals, and the power and attraction of the unknown. This is the third collaboration between the two institutions as part of an ongoing series of contemporary art exhibitions at the museum.

As part of the four-year agreement between TBA21 and Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, the public programme will uphold values which are central to TBA21 and the artists in the collection. These are:

  • New Audiences: TBA21 will provide free entry to the exhibition every Monday. A collaboration with EducaThyssen will enable teachers, student teachers and educational groups to engage with the exhibition contents.
  • Accessibility: Educational material will be available and exhibition mediators will be at the space every Thursday and Saturday. Talks and interviews from the public programme will be available online.
  • Collaboration: As part of TBA21’s mission, the exhibition involves collaborations with other leading organisations including MediaLab, a leading organisation in art and digital production, the Teatro Real Opera House, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and the participation of the director of CNIO (National Cancer Research Centre) for one of the talks.

Tomás Saraceno presents the installation How to entangle the universe in a spider web? among a selection of other recent works. The piece forms part of his celebrated studies of spider/webs, whose complex structures resemble tiny universes, surpassing many of the architectural and other constructions made by humans. Saraceno often amplifies the vibrations of spider/webs as if they were musical instruments, making them audible for humans. These entangled floating landscapes create sensorial and living connections across ecosystems, resonating among participants to create a fuller awareness of the unheard and unnoticed voices that surrounds us.

In Opera (QM.15), Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster appears as the soprano Maria Callas while singing some of her most famous arias. Opera (QM.15) forms part of a series of works that refer to actresses such as Marilyn Monroe and Sarah Bernhardt which the artist terms “apparitions”. The work draws on the history of photography and the supernatural, as if it were, in the words of Gonzalez-Foerster, “a kind of spiritual session”.



Public Conference

Museo Nacional Thyssen Bornemisza Auditorium

Tuesday 24 September 2019, 7pm

Panel discussion during the opening of More-than-humans between Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (artist), Tomás Saraceno (artist), and Stefanie Hessler (curator). Presentation by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (chairwoman of TBA21).

To request attendance, please contact:

Excerpts from the talk will be available for streaming on TBA21’s YouTube channel and social media from 21 October 2019.


Educational Material

Wednesday 25 September – Sunday 1 December 2019

EducaThyssen offers a variety of educational materials to the general public in order to support the comprehension and experience of the exhibition.

Please ask at the entrance to the exhibition for an educational brochure (the number of copies is limited).


Free Access

Every Monday, 12pm-4pm

TBA21 provides free access to the exhibition every Monday from 12pm to 4pm.

No ticket is required for direct access to the exhibition rooms.


Public Conversations

“More-Than-Humans” exhibition space

Alternate Tuesdays and Saturdays, 4.30pm

(5, 10, 19, 24 October and 2, 7, 16, 21, 30 November)


Public talks in the exhibition space with members of the education department EducaThyssen about More-than-humans. The public is encouraged to engage with the concepts and discourses of artists and curator.

Free of charge.

Directed to the general public.

Each conversation is limited to 20 people. Advance registration is required via



“Tuning into Other Worlds: Spider/Web and Invertebrate Vibrations”

EducaThyssen workshop space and Museo Nacional Thyssen Bornemisza garden

Wednesday 30 October 2019, 10am-1pm

Led by entomologist and specialist in animal vibrational communication Dr. Roland Mühlethaler.

In this citizen science workshop, participants build simple electronic devices that allow us to listen to the world of vibrations produced by spiders, insects, and other invertebrates. Devices built during the workshop can then be used in the subsequent “mapping and field recording tour” of local spider/web ecologies.

Directed to the general public with an interest in insects and spiders, sound and field recording, and DIY citizen science. Supervised children are welcome.

Each session is limited to 15 people. Advance registration is required via


Guided Tour

“Spider/Web Mapping Against Extinction and Field Recording Tour of local ecologies”

Museo Nacional Thyssen Bornemisza spaces , garden and adjacent spaces

Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 October 2019, 2pm-4pm 

Led by entomologist Dr. Roland Mühlethaler.

In this tour of the exhibition building and surroundings, participants will be guided to encounter the spider/webs that coinhabit urban ecologies. Those who took part in the earlier workshop will be encouraged to use their recording devices to tune in to the vibrations of the invertebrate worlds they encounter. 

Directed to the general public with an interest in animals, insects, and ecologies. Supervised children are welcome.

Bring a smartphone with you, and download the Studio Tomás Saraceno Arachnomancy app in advance.

Each session is limited to 15 people. Advance registration is required via


Arachnomancy readings

Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 October, 2pm-7pm

Individual readings based on the “Arachnomancy” spider divination cards offered by Ania Puig Chang.

Individual, 15-minute spider divination readings available. Requests can be sent to


Talk and Conversation

“Animism and Arachnomancy: Encountering Nonhuman Intelligence through the Spider/Web Oracle”

Museo Nacional Thyssen Bornemisza Auditorium

Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 October, 7pm-8.30pm 

A conversation about animism, shamanism, and nonhuman sentience and practices of spider divination moderated by Stefanie Hessler (curator).

Free of charge.

Advance registration is required via



Museo Nacional Thyssen Bornemisza Auditorium

Thursday 31 October, 9pm-11pm

More-than-humans concert. Artists to be announced for a musical evening about spiders and unhuman sounds.

Advance registration is required via 



“Learning from the Others”

Museo Nacional Thyssen Bornemisza Auditorium

Tuesday 12 November, 5pm-7pm

Maria Blasco (researcher and director of the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas) and Rafael Doctor Roncero (curator and art critic, former director of MUSAC and Centro Andaluz de la Fotografía) hold a conversation on how to learn from animals in an anthropocentric culture. Moderated by Carlos Urroz (director of TBA21). 

Booking is essential for this free talk. To reserve your space, please contact:





For teachers and professors

Saturday 26 October 10am-2pm and 4pm-7pm; Sunday 27 October 10am-2pm

Experimental workshops that introduce teachers and professors to new pedagogic ways of nonhuman thinking that are related to the content of the exhibition.

This free workshop is limited to 25 people. Advance registration is required via



For social and integrational collectives and institutions

1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 October; 5, 12, 19 and 26 November, 4pm

Exhibition visits designed in collaboration with different entities and collectives establishing links between their missions and the content of the exhibition.

This free event is limited to 15 people and mediators. Advance registration is required via or by phone: 913 600 334



For student teachers

In collaboration with Facultad de Ciencias de la información, Universidad Complutense de Madrid will introduce contemporary art, its practices and contents to student teachers that will be school teachers in the future.

This event is free. For more information, please


Collaboration with Medialab-Prado

C/ Alameda 15, 28014

During More-than-humans, Medialab Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), and the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza are initiating a collaborative program that will link the themes of the exhibition to a public call for projects that explore connections between living forms and digital fabrication. Selected projects will be developed using the resources of the digital fabrication laboratory at Medialab Prado. Artists, curators, and experts in fields related to the exhibition will participate in a workshop at Medialab Prado to share their ideas with the public. This collaboration will also lead to a series of guided visits to both spaces in November.

For more information about Medialab workshops:

For more information about guided


New Audiences Activation

TBA21 in collaboration with is working on the activation of new audiences through online and offline actions focused toward environment, ecology, science, research, development, and technology associations and collectives in order to create synergies between the content of More-than-humans and their practices. Collectives related to ecology, renewable energy, oceans, sustainable development, NGO organizations, and the citizenship and cooperation sector can enjoy an exhibition visit tailored to the mission of TBA21: understanding art as a powerful agent for change and encouraging artistic practices that are informed by social and environmental concerns.

For further enquiries please contact: or


Collaboration with Teatro Real

On the occasion of the presentation of ÓPERA (QM.15) (2016) by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster in the exhibition More-than-humans, Teatro Real, TBA21, and the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza are coming together and opening their doors to various institutional activities and content.


Artists: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Tomás Saraceno

Works from the collection of TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

Curator: Stefanie Hessler

Exhibition architecture: Olga Subirós

Exhibition dates: 25 September – 1 December 2019


Media Enquiries:

Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza:

(+34)913 600 236 (direct)

(+34)914 203 944 (switchboard)



Press Office:

Madrid Office




Erica Bolton, Bolton & Quinn

Tel: +44 (0)7711 698 186


Notes to Editors


TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary is a leading international art foundation, founded in Vienna in 2002 by the philanthropist and collector Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza representing the fourth generation of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family’s commitment to the arts. TBA21 is distinct from other art foundations in its promotion of art as a powerful agent for change. It encourages artistic practices that are informed by social and environmental concerns – practices that change the terms of engagement between art and society. It seeks to forge new, productive relationships between artistic research and the creative work of the sciences and the humanities and aims to investigate pressing issues of today. Since 2002, it has acquired a formidable collection of more than 700 artworks by some 200 artists from around the globe.


Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection is one of the most important collections in the world. Although originally a private collection, today it belongs to the Spanish public after its acquisition by the government in 1993, just a year after the museum was opened. All the artistic movements of Western art from the 13th to 20th centuries are represented in the collection, highlighting the exquisite taste of Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1875-1947) and of his son Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1921-2002). Highlights of the collection include works by Dürer, Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Manet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Kandinsky, Picasso, Hopper and Rothko.



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