News & Media

Discover the latest news articles and videos
about the activity of Therme Group™

Close
Therme Art, the Serpentine and MYTH present ‘COMMUNION’ at the 2021 Serpentine Pavilion

COMMUNION gathered artists and visionaries at the Serpentine Pavilion  for an evening of lectures and performances exploring how art and community supports mental wellbeing 

Marking the opening of Frieze London, the Serpentine Pavilion and Therme Art hosted the transdisciplinary collaboration COMMUNION. The multi-disciplinary event drew together leading voices from across the fields of art, architecture, fashion, music, and technology to explore the importance of gathering and creative production on mental wellbeing. Designed this year by the Johannesburg-based practice Counterspace, the Serpentine Pavilion served as the centre stage and catalyst for the event, which featured performances and talks by musicians including Tinie Tempah and ENNY, architect Sumayya Vally, artist Torkwase Dyson, and fashion designer Priya Ahluwalia. COMMUNION was presented by the Serpentine and Therme Art, in partnership with MYTH, and supported by MYND. 

Mikolaj Sekutowicz, CEO and Co-Founder of Therme Art stated:

“Today more than ever, it is critical that the architectural community propose creative solutions that can adapt to the needs of diverse communities. Counterspace’s vision for the 2021 Serpentine Pavilion this year does just that, and we are proud to partner with the Serpentine in support of this inspiring multidisciplinary programme that brings artists and creatives together to reflect upon the importance of gathering and interdisciplinary discussion on their creative production and mental wellbeing in our communities.”

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Creative Director of Serpentine remarked:

“We are so excited that tonight’s event at Sumayya Vally’s 20th Serpentine Pavilion is all about communion with and in our environment. This evening demonstrates how architecture, art and culture can break and proliferate into our cities and reach communities that have found difficulty in accessing these projects for generations now.”

Highlights of the evening included the release of a new track by rapper and singer Tinie Tempah and ENNY’s performance of her iconic hit song “Peng Black Girls,” which transformed Counterspace’s Pavilion into a stage that radiated themes of identity, empowerment, community, belonging, and gathering. 

Panel discussions hosted by Therme Art, as part of their ongoing Wellbeing Culture Forum talks, included a conversation with Counterspace Co-Founder and architect Sumayya Vally, artist Torkwase Dyson, and Serpentine curator Hans Ulrich Obrist. Moderated by journalist Yomi Adegoke, the talk illuminated the influences and creative processes of the design of the 2021 Serpentine Pavilion and its sound piece. The conversation also invited participants and the audience to meditate on the possibilities of architecture that is conceived to amplify the presence of multiplicity and migration in London and beyond. 

A picture containing person, indoor, group, people
Description automatically generated
Priya Ahluwalia, ENNY, Sumayya Vally and Yomi Adegoke speaking at Communion.

Adegoke also moderated a discussion with ENNY, fashion designer Priya Ahluwalia, and Vally, who shared stories from past and present histories, addressing subjects that ranged from diaspora, migration, and intergenerationally, to gentrification and identity, and that paid homage to the strength and beauty of Black existence.

In between the Wellbeing Culture Forum talks, curator and art critic Daniel Birnbaum and Hans Ulrich Obrist introduced artist Carsten Höller’s digital extension of his most recent monographic exhibition at the MAAT Museum, DAY. The digital work, produced and displayed by Acute Art via their App, titled 7.8 (Reduced Reality App), augments and reduces reality through the flickering of screens at 7.8 Hz, a frequency that stimulates brain wave frequencies and may induce hallucinatory effects. Gathered at the Pavilion, guests experienced Höller’s work together as a shared art experience. 

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries said:

“We are so excited that tonight’s event at Sumayya Vally’s 20th Serpentine Pavilion is all about communion with and in our environment. This evening demonstrates how architecture, art and culture can break and proliferate into our cities and reach communities that have found difficulty in accessing these projects for generations now.”

The 2021 edition of the Serpentine Pavilion, Kensington Gardens opened to the public on 11th June with smaller fragments presented across the city of London. The work illustrates the power of architecture to inspire a sense of community, identity, belonging, and gathering back into our lives. The Pavilion’s abstract, superimposing and interlaced sculptural elements reference the architecture of local restaurants, markets, bookshops, and cultural institutions that played a significant role in the vitalisation of cross-cultural communities during their migration into neighbourhoods such as Brixton, Hoxton, Hackney, Peckham, and Notting Hill, among others.

Sumayya Vally stated: 

“It has been an incredible journey to see such a diversity of uses and voices giving life to and shaping the life of the Pavilion. I am so honoured to have been a part of this journey, and I’m excited to continue to work on growing and developing the work and engagements that the Pavilion has seeded.” 

COMMUNION is part of a series of collaborations initiated by MYND and Therme Mind, a mental health and wellbeing initiative first launched at Design Miami/Basel 2021, as it supported the transdisciplinary installation Shy Synchrony by DRIFT, presented by Superblue. MYND makes pioneering neuroscience technology and findings available to leading artists for the realisation of art and cultural production encouraging mental health and wellbeing.

A person dancing on a stage
Description automatically generated with low confidence
Tinie Tempah performing live at COMMUNION.