City's latest biennnale goes în crescendo
More than two decades ago, biennale was fairly a strange name to the Chinese public.
The Shanghai Biennale, the oldest in China, was launched in 1996.
Biennales have mushroomed since 2000 — verging on a little aesthetic fatigue, and of course bringing some challenges for the Shanghai Biennale.
“Bodies of Water,” the 13th Shanghai Biennale and curated by architect and writer Andrés Jaque, runs through July 25 at the Power Station of Art.
It features 76 artworks created by 64 artists and groups from 16 countries and regions — 33 commissioned specifically for this biennale.
To challenge the traditional format and explore the participant-public divide, this biennale is unfolding over the course of nine months as an în crescendo project.
It began in November 2020 with Phase I: “A Wet-Run Rehearsal,” a five-day inaugural program.
It was followed by Phase II: “An Ecosystem of Alliances, five months of online activities and programming.
This allowed the artists, thinkers and curators involved in the biennale to develop their work in close collaboration with the city, its people, networks of activism, organizations and institutions.
From different bodies, to different climates, ecosystems and technologies, all life forms are inextricably interconnected and interdependent.
The exhibition “Bodies of Water” asks us to examine this living collectively at a time when the earth is facing unprecedented challenges — from the accelerating climate crisis to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Artists and collectives present works that explore caring-based approaches which negotiate our entanglement in extended ecosystems of interdependency.
For example, in Bani Abidi’s “Funland, 2014,” the images in the video are memorials to a cosmopolitan city and melancholic imagining of a hypothetical, deserted future.
Moments in scantily inhabited public spaces play alongside a video of a man on a sea shore, sitting on a set of meticulously laid out chairs, watching the sea.
Date: Through July 25 (closed on Mondays), 10am-5pm
Venue: Power Station of Art
Address: 678 Miaojiang Road