Bioengineering Becomes Art at the Antoni Tàpies Museum

An installation featured in the exhibition “A=A, B=B” at the Antoni Tàpies Foundation will provide live access to the laboratories of IBEC. A window from which visitors will have the opportunity to see how researchers carry out their research projects, as if it were a genuine performance of scientific innovation. 

The “A=A, B=B” exhibition opens today at the Antoni Tàpies Foundation, a commemorative showcase presented to celebrate the centenary of the artist, among other activities taking place in Barcelona during the Tàpies year. This exhibition, the result of collaboration between the Antoni Tàpies Foundation, the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), and the Department of Medicine and Life Sciences at Pompeu Fabra University, will be open until March 3, 2024. 

Tàpies, who kept a work that deeply inspired him, “The New Vision of the World” (1954), on his bedside table, would now see how his influence becomes an exhibition that navigates the space between art and science. Curated by the artist and scientist Pep Vidal, the exhibition connects the concepts of the book with the current context, offering an opportunity to reflect on the scientific changes of the last seventy years, the enduring spirit of the scientific method, the reasons for doing science, and the relationship between science and art, among many other topics. 

The exhibition is structured like a scientific article, the classic element of scientific communication, which also includes a bibliographic section. This area is dedicated to the books, records, and videos that each artist has contributed to the project, serving as a reference for their way of thinking. 

We believed that moving a piece of IBEC to the Antoni Tàpies Foundation would create an impactful link between science and art. We chose the poster because it’s a sentimental and authentic representation of my entire Ph.D. work. In scientific conferences, ideas are conveyed through posters. This old and worn-out poster signifies more profoundly than any beautiful cell image could.

Nimesh Ramesh Chahare

Within this experience, IBEC plays a prominent role with two notable interventions. On the one hand, visitors will have the opportunity to witness in real time the operation of two IBEC laboratories, as if it were a genuine scientific performance. On the other hand, researcher Nimesh Ramesh Chahare, from the Integrative Cell and Tissue Dynamics research group led by Xavier Trepat, will present a scientific poster titled “Harnessing active viscoelasticity to generate epithelial folds,” illustrating how epithelial tissues develop in folded organs, an inherent engineering challenge. 

Beyond contemplation, the exhibition also opens the doors to a real immersion in the world of bioengineering. On January 25, visitors will have the exclusive opportunity to participate in a guided tour of the IBEC facilities to learn about multidisciplinary research in this field. Additionally, on January 13, an educational activity for families, the “Cell Workshop,” will take place, an experience to delve into the secrets of the cell and DNA. 

With this exhibition, which will be open to the public until March 3, 2024, art and science merge to create an inspiring and educational experience for all visitors. 

More information.