press release

Claudia Comte
After Nature
May 11–August 22, 2021

What comes first, day or night? There is no right answer. They are eternally consecutive, as are the elements displayed in the two rooms. A wall painting of a wave breaks through both spaces. First, we find a series of coral-shaped wooden sculptures, leading us on to the obscurity of the ocean’s depths; there we are greeted by a new family of digitally animated corals, forming and coming apart, playfully giving us a new insight into their morphology.

Since 2018, the Swiss artist Claudia Comte has been collaborating with TBA21–Academy, making works focused on the preservation of the world’s oceans. This new site-specific installation for the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, produced during her 2019 TBA21–Academy Residency at Alligator Head Foundation in Port Antonio, Jamaica, is the first major presentation of the artist’s work in Spain.

Comte understands coral reefs as a generative biological entity whose damage is a threat to planetary life. Hence, she has created this new multimedia immersive environment that reflects on different kinds of knowledge, such as marine bioluminescence, the memory of trees, and the communication of algae, unfolding through two distinct spaces, separated into day and night.

The exhibition is an invitation to meditate on our approach to vulnerable ecosystems and the danger they are facing due to human activity. And it is also about regeneration, the possibility of life, of the re-emergence of life after destruction.

Comte will create a new piece about the production and research process that will simultaneously be shown on TBA21’s digital space st_age. There will also be a talk between the artist and curator, Chus Martínez, presented by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, founder and president of TBA21 and Markus Reymann, Director of TBA21—Academy.