Madrid, Spain,
21:21 PM

Antarctic Resolution, Opening and Round Table | TBA21 at Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza


“Antarctica is not only the most precious thermostat that we have on our planet, it also represents a unique opportunity for governments to work together in order to further the initial goal of the Madrid protocol, rather than reverse it. Cooperation must outweigh national interests.” - Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, TBA21 Founder and Chair

Signed in Madrid on October 4, 1991, the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty came into force in 1998, designating Antarctica as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science” (Art. 2).

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Antarctic Environmental Protocol and building upon TBA21’s 20-year long commitment to environmental and peace advocacy and its long-term relationship with the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, TBA21 will present a publication-centered exhibition and conference at the museum, with the collaboration of the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge and its Minister Teresa Ribera.

Exhibition, October 2-12, 2021
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza

“Antarctic Resolution'' is the first holistic body of research ever produced on the Antarctic which offers a high-resolution image of our seventh continent. Developed by UNLESS, a non-profit agency for change founded by architect Giulia Foscari, in collaboration with the world's leading experts on Antarctica, the encyclopedic project focuses on the continent’s unique geography, unparalleled scientific potential, contemporary geopolitical significance, experimental governance system, and extreme inhabitation model.

“Accounting for approximately 10% of the land mass of Planet Earth, the Antarctic is a Global Commons we collectively neglect. Far from being a pristine natural landscape, the continent is a contested territory which conceals resources that might prove irresistible in a world with ever- increasing population growth. The 26 quadrillion tons of ice accumulated on its bedrock, equivalent to around 70% of the freshwater on our planet, represent at once the most significant repository of scientific data available, providing crucial information for future environmental policies, and the greatest menace to global coastal settlements threatened by the rise in sea levels induced by anthropogenic global warming.” - Giulia Foscari, "Antarctic Resolution"

Premiered in the twofold format of publication and exhibition at the 17th Architecture Biennale of Venice, “Antarctic Resolution” was reproduced in its installation form by TBA21 as an integral part of its commitment to support of artistic research projects underlining the urgencies caused by our anthropogenic world. The installation will be exhibited at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, in Madrid alongside an impressive photograph of the southernmost cryosphere taken by Paolo Pellegrin during NASA’s Operation IceBridge as evidence of the alarming pace by which Antarctic glaciers are relentlessly calving icebergs into the Southern Ocean. 

Aspiring to catalyse and disseminate knowledge on the Antarctic, the monumental 1000 page publication of “Antarctic Resolution” - which encompasses over 150 authored texts, a vast portfolio of photographic essays, data-based visualisations and detailed architectural drawings - reveals the intricate web of growing economic interests, tensions and international rivalries overtly at play in the continent, and calls for action.

The publication is available to purchase online at Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza's Shop, at Lars Müller Publishers, and Artbook.

Inauguration Round Table, Saturday October 2nd, 2021, at noon
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza. Auditorium.
To reserve your tickets, click here

Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (TBA21 Founder and Chair)
Giulia Foscari (Founder of UNLESS)
James N. Barnes (Founder of the Antarctic & Southern Ocean Coalition, ASOC)
Pascal Lamy (Co-chair, Antarctica 2020, Former Director-General of the World Trade Organization, WTO)
Emil Dediu (Pew ​​Charitable Trusts)

"Given the profound ecological upheavals underway in Antarctica from the climate and biodiversity crises, we need to preserve the spirit with which the Madrid Protocol was agreed 30 years ago today, and commit to further bold action to protect this fragile wilderness” - James N. Barnes, Board Chair of the Antarctica and Southern Ocean Coalition


Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) is a leading international art and advocacy foundation harnessing the power of art as an agent for change. With hubs in Madrid and Venice that radiate worldwide, TBA21 has partnered on the realization of more than 100 works that engage the public in the most pressing issues of our times. Created in 2002 by the activist, philanthropist, and collector Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, TBA21 represents the fourth generation of the Thyssen family’s commitment to the arts. 


Giulia Foscari Widmann Rezzonico is an architect, researcher and writer who has been practising in Europe, Asia and the Americas. She is the founder of UNA, an architecture studio focussed on cultural projects, and of its alter ego UNLESS, a non-profit agency for change devoted to interdisciplinary research on extreme environments threatened by the planetary crisis. Foscari’s past work experience includes an extensive collaboration with Rem Koolhaas/OMA which started in Hong Kong and led her to run OMA’s South American platform, and with Zaha Hadid Architects. She is partner of the architecture office FWR Associati, and member of the International Council of the MoMA. Her work was exhibited in multiple editions of the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Foscari taught at Hong Kong University and at the Architectural Association, where she ran a Diploma Unit and founded The Polar Lab. She authored Elements of Venice and is the editor of Antarctic Resolution (Lars Müller Publishers).

UNLESS is a non-profit agency for change that brings together interdisciplinary experts to conduct research on extreme environments threatened by the planetary crisis. Founded by Giulia Foscari, UNLESS’ collaborative practice engages specialists from the fields of architecture, biology, chemistry, climate science, engineering, geography, history, law, literature, logistics, medicine, physics, political science, sociology, technology, and the visual arts.


James Barnes
James Barnes (Jim) received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1970. From mid-June 1971, he was a lawyer on the Alaska Pipeline case at the Center for Law and Social Policy for two years, and from 1977 to 1982, he was an attorney with the Center’s International Project. He co-founded the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition(ASOC) in 1978, serving for many years as General Counsel, and then as Executive Director (2005-2014). He helped direct ASOC campaigns for an ecosystem-as-a-whole fisheries convention (1978-1982); against the proposed Minerals Convention (1982-1989); and for an Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty banning minerals activities (1989-1998). Jim helped develop the campaign to protect the Ross Sea, starting in 2003. He wrote Let’s Save Antarctica in 1982, as a citizens’ handbook advocating for Antarctica to be protected as a World Park. He serves ASOC as Board Chair.

Emil Dediu 
Emil Dediu is an officer with Pew Charitable Trust's protecting Antarctica's Southern Ocean Campaign. He focuses on outreach to the European Union and its member States in support of creating a network of marine protections in the waters surrounding Antarctica.

Before joining Pew, Dediu was Moldova’s deputy head of mission to the EU, serving as the lead negotiator in talks with the body and was commended for his work on the EU-Moldova Association Agreement. He was also head of the Americas, Asia, and Africa department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he worked on and developed Moldovan interests in the three continents and coordinated all activities of Moldovan embassies in those regions.

Dediu holds a doctorate and Master of Laws in international law from the State University of Moldova.

Pascal Lamy
Pascal Lamy is the President of the Paris Peace Forum and Brunswick Europe Chair. He is special advisor to the European Commission.

He shares his other activities between the Jacques Delors think tanks (Paris, Berlin, Brussels), the Presidency of the UNWTO ethics of tourism committee, and Chair of the French Committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PEEC), the Aspen meeting Europe/Africa, and the Musiciens du Louvre orchestra (Marc Minkowski). He also holds positions in various French, European, and global boards or advisory boards (Mo Ibrahim Foundation, IFPRI, CERRE, TMEA, Transparency International, Alpbach Forum, Beijing Forum, World Trade Forum, WEF global risks, Europaeum, Collegium international etc.). He is an affiliate Professor at the China Europe International Business School CEIBS, Shanghai, and at HEC (Paris). From 2005 to 2013, Pascal Lamy served for two terms as Director General of the World Trade Organization (WT0). He previously was European Commissioner for trade (1999-2004), CEO of Crédit Lyonnais (1994-1999), Chief of Staff to the President of the European Commission Jacques Delors and his G7 sherpa (1985-1994), Deputy Chief of Staff to the French Prime Minister (1983-1985) and to the French Minister for Economy and Finance (1981-1983). Among his latest publications, one can find “Strange New World” (Odile Jacob 2020, “Où va le monde?» (Odile Jacob 2018). 

Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza
Founder and Chair of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza is an activist, philanthropist and patron of the arts. Driven by a belief in the power of art to serve as an agent of change, Thyssen-Bornemisza has supported artists throughout her career in the production and creation of new work that fuels engagement with the most pressing issues of our times. Her sustained commitment to the cultural realm extends a long tradition of collecting and philanthropy in the Thyssen family that dates back generations.

Since 2002, TBA21 has helped realize more than 300 commissions, by such artists as Olafur Eliasson, Claudia Comte, Ragnar Kjartensson, Walid Raad, Rikrit Tiravanija and Ai Weiwei.

TBA21 has partnered with institutions internationally to lend works and mount cultural programs of ambitious scale and scope. In 2019 TBA21 established a hub in Madrid, including an ongoing collaboration with the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza. In 2011, Thyssen-Bornemisza co-founded TBA21–Academy with Director Markus Reymann, and in 2019 TBA21–Academy inaugurated a new art space in Venice called Ocean Space.

Thyssen-Bornemisza has received numerous honors, including the Honor of the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for contribution to the Environment and Marine Ecosystem Restoration in Jamaica in 2021, the Simmons Award for Philanthropic Excellence in 2015, the Merit Award in Gold of the Province of Vienna for her cultural engagement in Vienna in 2009, the Iceland’s Order of the Falcon in 2007 and the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award in 1996.


Edited by Giulia Foscari / UNLESS
Publisher: Lars Müller Publishers
20 × 26,4 cm, 1000 pages, 1255 illustrations
2021, 978-3-03778-640-6, English

Doaa Abdel-Motaal (World Trade Organisation), Conrad Anker (Mountaineer), Francesco Bandarin (former UNESCO), Carlo Barbante (University Ca’ Foscari), James N. Barnes (Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition), Thomas, Barningham (British Antarctic Survey), Carlo Baroni (University of Pisa), Susan Barr (International Council on Monuments and Sites), Elisa Bergami (University of Siena), Marcelo Bernal (ARQZE Ltd), Anne-Marie Brady (University of Canterbury), Ralf Brauner (Jade University of Applied Sciences), Cassandra M. Brooks (University of Colorado Boulder), Shaun T. Brooks (University of Tasmania), Hugh Broughton (Hugh Broughton Architects), Bert Bücking (bof Architekten), David Burrows (Environmental Systems Research Institute), Sol Camacho (RADDAR), Sanjay Chaturverdi (South Asian University), Swadheet Chaturvedi (Architectural Association School of Architecture), Christy Collis (Queensland University of Technology), Peter Convey (British Antarctic Survey), Geoff Cooper (United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust), Gabriele Coppi (University of Pennsylvania), Ilaria Corsi (University of Siena), Lino Dainese (Dainese and D-Air Lab), Nicholas de Monchaux (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Jean de Pomereu (Artist), Klaus Dodds (Royal Holloway, University of London), Julian Dowdeswell (Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University), Juan Du (The University of Hong Kong), Chris Drury (Artist), Graeme Eagles (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research), Alexey A. Ekaykin (Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute), Fausto Ferraccioli (British Antarctic Survey), Joe Ferraro (Ferraro Choi and Associates), James Fleming (Boston University), Giulia Foscari W. R. (UNA/UNLESS), Adrian Fox (British Antarctic Survey), William L. Fox (Nevada Museum of Art), Bob Frame (University of Canterbury), Peter T. Fretwell (British Antarctic Survey), Lutz Frisch (Artist), Jacopo Gabrielli (National Research Council), Hartwig Gernandt (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research), Andrew J. Gerrard (New Jersey Institute of Technology), Neil Gilbert (Constantia Consulting), El Glasberg (New York University), Karsten Gohl (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research), Francis Halzen (University of Wisconsin–Madison), Kael Hansen (Wisconsin IceCube, Particle Astrophysics Center), Ursula Harris (Australian Antarctic Data Centre), Judith Hauck (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research), Robert Headland (Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University), Beth Healey (European Space Agency), Alan D. Hemmings (University of Canterbury), Poutama Hetaraka (Artist), Te Warihi Hetaraka, Adrian Howkins (University of Bristol), Alfred Hiatt (Queen Mary University of London), Gretchen Hoffman (University of California, Santa Barbara), Kevin A.Hughes (British Antarctic Survey), Andrew T. Hynous (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), Julia Jabour (University of Tasmania), Stéphanie Jenouvrier (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Solan Jensen (Quark Expeditions), Andrea Kavanaugh (The Pew Charitable Trusts), William Kentridge (Artist), Georg Kleinschmidt (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research), Alexander Klepikov (Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute), Daniel Kiss (Architectural Association School of Architecture), Peter Landschützer (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology), Louis John Lanzerotti (New Jersey Institute of Technology), Elizabeth Leane (University of Tasmania), Sang-Leem Lee (Space Group), Inti Ligabue (Giancarlo Ligabue Foundation), Daniela Liggett (University of Canterbury), Bryan Lintott (Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University), Vladimir Lipenkov (Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute), Cornelia Lüdecke (University of Hamburg), Arturo Lyon (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile), James Madsen (Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center), Craig McCormack (University of Western Australia), Tony McGlory (Ramboll), Hans-Jürgen Meyer (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research), Joseph Micallef (, Christel Misund-Domaas (University of Tromsø), Chiara Montanari (Antarctic Expedition Leader), Michael Morrison (Purcell), Teasel Muir-Harmony (National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution), John Nelson (Environmental Systems Research Institute), Camilla Nichol (United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust), Miranda Nieboer (University of Tasmania), Anne Noble (Artist), Dirk Notz (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology), Shaun O’Boyle (Photographer), Madeleine O’Keefe (IceCube Neutrino Observatory), Lucy + Jorge Orta (Artists), Lawrence A. Palinkas (University of Southern California), Scott Parazynski (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), Carolina Passos (RADDAR), Michael Pearson (International Council on Monuments and Sites, International Polar Heritage Committee), Francesco Pellegrino (National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), Rick Petersen (OZ Architecture, Inc.), Katherina Petrou (University of Technology Sydney), Andrea Piñones (Austral University of Chile), Jean-Yves Pirlot (Council of European Geodetic Surveyors), Ceisha Poirot (Antarctica New Zealand), Alexander Ponomarev (Artist, Antarctic Biennale), Brian Rauch (Washington University in St. Louis), Ron Roberts (Kingston University), Fayne Robinson, Donald R. Rothwell (Australian National University College of Law), Juan Francisco Salazar (Western Sydney University), Jean-Baptiste Sallée (French National Centre for Scientific Research), Philippe Samyn (Philippe Samyn and Partners), Bojan Šavrič (Environmental Systems Research Institute), Mirko Schienert (Dresden University of Technology), Didier Schmitt (European Space Agency), Thomas Schramm (Ramboll), Daniel Schubert (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research), Karen Nadine Scott (University of Canterbury), Cara Seitchek (American University), Maria Ximena Senatore (International Council on Monuments and Sites), Jonathan Shanklin (British Antarctic Survey), Yuri Shibaev (Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute), Santiago Sierra (Artist), Tim Stephens (University of Sydney), Pavel Grigorievich Talalay (Jilin University), Paul Taylor (ARQZE Ltd.), Steve Theno (United States Antarctic Program), Paul Thur (United States Antarctic Program), Philip Trathan (British Antarctic Survey), Francisco Valdivia (Federico Santa María Technical University), David Vaughan (British Antarctic Survey), Emerson Vidigal (Estudio 41), Priscilla Wehi (University of Otago), Claudio Willams (Amancio Williams Archive), Gary Wilson (Department of Marine Science, University of Ota-go), Juliet Wong (University of California, Santa Barbara), Gillian Wratt (Independent Consultant), Angela Wright (Colour Affects), Federica Sofia Zambeletti (UNA/UNLESS).