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2024, a year-long celebration

Man is not a spectator or an actor, he is simply nature.
Giuseppe Penone, To Breathe the Shadow

In 2024, the Fondation Thalie celebrates its 10th anniversary—a venue created to support artists on the European and international contemporary scene, with an emphasis on practices that integrate and preserve craftsmanship, plus ecology as a vector of research and innovation.

Within the decade: exhibitions, artist residencies in Brussels and Arles, an art collection and off-site programming at the crossroads of visual arts, design and science contributing to new thinking and taking action against climate change. It’s been ten years of patronage for contemporary creation, for which we are thankful to the artists and curators of our programmes and exhibitions, in addition to the institutional actors and partners, the ever-growing public and the entire Fondation team.

Our deepest conviction is that we must believe and fight to bring about an awakening of consciousness through art, to bring about these new imaginations and these new ways of designing and producing, given the exhaustion of planetary resources. As the era tends towards dematerialisation linked to technological acceleration and the increasing presence of AI in our lives, we foster encounters resulting from art’s effervescence. Ten years have been traversed by artistic and educational projects (particularly schoolworkshops for Dalit children in India in 2017), production support for the visual arts, an ambitious and eclectic performing arts programme and invitations to creators from all backgrounds: commissions and acquisitions of works by artists including Caroline Achaintre, Ulla von Brandenburg, Claudia Comte, Edith Dekyndt, Latifa Echakhch, Nicolas Floc’h, Ann Veronica Janssens, Alexandre Lenoir, Oscar Murillo, Kiki Smith, Achraf Touloub, Tatiana Trouvé, Adrien Vescovi, Jeanne Vicerial and Eva Jospin (the latter two were invited to Brussels and Arles in 2023 for monographic exhibitions).

How can we educate future generation
s on how to regenerate our natural ecosystems?

Over ten years, threats to habitability on earth have accelerated significantly and the Fondation has broadenedits criteria of engagement to raise awareness regarding the environmental emergency. In 2022, the Fondation joined a coalition of dynamic private foundations on this subject, also partnering with the Festival Agir pour le vivant in Arles, a citizen COP  spearheaded by Actes Sud editions in line with the “Creators facing Climate Emergency” programme, a podcast about politically engaged creation in which artists, designers and scientists pool their savoir-faire to co-create and motivate future generations. Each of us face the question posed by Bruno Latour*: “Do we continue to dream of getaways or do we seek a habitable territory for ourselves and our children?” This leads us to refocus our philanthropic commitment regarding what constitutes territory and to defend a feeling of belonging along with community of values. In this way, we cultivate the intelligence of DOING and the transmission of gestures as forms of ecological and poetic activism.

The DNA of the Fondation Thalie has always been multidisciplinary, so as to bear witness to the richness of cultural diversity and identity paradoxes. It is at the European level that the Fondation—which is based in Brussels—wishes to develop new partnerships and to co-construct educational, artistic and cultural projects carrying common convictions through innovation (design solutions), inclusion and creativity.

Regenerative Futures is both an exhibition and an anniversary, a tipping point, a new era that brings together artistic experiences, ecological and philosophical stories, inviting debate and awakening our senses… Are we—as the essayist and historian David Van Reybrouck expressed—“colonising the future”? This hybrid flagship exhibition, full of foresight, gives voice to designers around living matter (algae, mycelium, insect leather, etc.) and to artists shaping the future world, the post-carbon era and new lifestyles. It is also an ode to beauty and spirituality, which the selection of works presented embodies within an architectural history where past and present intersect, in a permanent flow and where art and culture are clearly the drivers of a societal paradigm shift.

Nathalie GUIOT, Founder-President


Regenerative Futures, co-curated by Yann Chateigné-Tytelman. From April 12 to September 28, 2024. Opening on Thursday, April 11.
*Philosopher, anthropologist and sociologist of science and technology.
Où atterrir ? Comment s’orienter en politique“, Bruno Latour, Editions La découverte, 2017.