During the 2017 Frieze Art & Architecture Conference on which it served as an associate partner, Therme Art Program was launched at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. As one of the leading platforms connecting art and architecture today, the Frieze Art & Architecture Conference was the
ideal context to inaugurate Therme Art Program, Therme Group’s international art initiative. During the launch event, an introduction to the program was provided by Professor Sarah Wilson of the Courtauld Institute of Art, along with a discussion featuring some of the program’s participating artists, including Icelandic artist Egill Sæbjörnsson, as well as Lev Evzovich and Evgeny Svyatsky from Russian art collective AES+F.
The mission of Therme Art Program is to fulfill artists’ visions that cannot be realized in galleries or museum spaces: no matter how complex their production, installation and long-term maintenance may be. The program wishes to grant artists full access to the Therme Group’s facilities and thus enable the creation of a significant and long-lasting cultural legacy, as thermae have been doing since Roman times. Historically, Roman baths were accessible, social and egalitarian settings.
Drawing on this tradition, Therme Group’s new projects will allow artworks to reach a diverse public outside the familiar white walls of the museum or gallery. Commissioned works of art are becoming ever more dynamic, outgrowing their institutional frames. Therme Art Program addresses these innovations by supporting, realizing and maintaining complex, long-term art projects. The initiative aims to challenge the limitations of conventional art space, whether it be playing with the architectural elements of a space, creating entire ecosystems, immersive installations or designing sauna environments that transform the visitors’ experience.