13th Shanghai Biennale
Bodies of Water
April 17 – June 25, 2021
The Power Station of Art (PSA) announces the culmination of the 13th Shanghai Biennale, Bodies of Water. Its main exhibition PHASE 03: AN EXHIBITION opens on April 17, 2021, with 64 participating artists presenting projects, including 33 new commissions, at the PSA and other venues across Shanghai. These participating artists include:
Joan Jonas, Professor Emerita
Antoni Muntadas, Visiting Professor 1990-2014
Muntadas will be exhibiting RED (2017). Color photography, Mural of 64 photos, 40 × 60 cm each.
RED is a site-specific work consist of a big panel of 64 photographs showing the results of Antoni Muntadas’ flow through the Shanghai streets and squares on a given day. That day was October 1st, 2017, coinciding with the China National Day that celebrates the sixty-eighth anniversary of the formation of the People’s Republic of China. Carried away by the course of the celebrations, Muntadas captured through his camera the drift of Shanghai’s citizens and the pulse of the city, always around the red color ubiquitous in the city.
More about the 13th Shanghai Biennale:
To challenge the traditional biennale format and explore the participant-public divide, the Biennale is unfolding over the course of nine months as an in crescendo project. It began in November 2020 with PHASE 01: *A* WET-RUN REHEARSAL, a five-day inaugural program, and was followed by PHASE 02: AN ECOSYSTEM OF ALLIANCES, five months of activity and programing. This allowed the artists, thinkers and curators involved in the Biennale to develop their work in close collaboration with the City of Shanghai, its people, networks of activism, organizations, and institutions.
From bodies to other bodies, climates, ecosystems and technologies, all life forms are inextricably interconnected and interdependent. Bodies of Water asks us to examine this living collectivity at a time when the earth is facing unprecedented challenges, from the accelerating climate crisis to the current global pandemic. The participating artists and collectives present artworks that explore caring-based approaches which negotiate our entanglement in extended ecosystems of interdependency. A significant number of these works, 33 in total, have been specifically commissioned and conceived for the space and times of the Biennale.
Bodies of Water, the exhibition, will be in dialogue with the history and geography of Shanghai, both a testament to our transspecies collectivity. It will unravel across the city, beginning at the PSA, a former coal-electric plant that fueled the industrialization of the Huangpu River, a cauldron of accelerated production and bodily mobilization. Beyond the PSA, the exhibition will expand to other important locations: the Sunke Villa at the Columbia Circle—one of the historical remnants of Shanghai’s colonial control of the environment, created from the drying of its original wetland ecosystem—and the former building of the Commercial Printing Factory—a publishing house where the school books used to unify knowledge across the country were printed.
The theme of the Biennale is intimately connected to Shanghai and the 5,000-meter descent of the East China Sea of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau’s meltwaters, located at the intersection of the Huangpu and the Yangtze Rivers, and in the vicinity of the human-made Jing-Hang Grand Canal. Particles dragged from up to 6,300 kilometers of sediment are metabolized by edible plants at the Yangtze Delta, China’s most fertile agricultural site. Mineral and organic matter, travelling suspended as bodies of water, is then rebodied, the flow of water reconstructing geographies and vitalizing organisms.
Read the full Press Release Here.