Unfolding in three phases over a eight-month period, Bodies of Water brings together artists, activists, scientists, thinkers, and citizens “to sense, discuss, and reconstruct wet-togetherness.” Chief Curator Andrés Jaque appointed an international curatorial team to develop the Biennale, which includes Marina Otero Verzier ‘13 MSCCCP, Lucia Pietroiusti, YOU Mi, and Filipa Ramos.
Bodies of Water intends to engage “with the history and geography of Shanghai, a long-standing arena for liquid territorial bodies, and the site for the Biennale” and “will ultimately interrogate its own situation at PSA, a former coal-electric plant that fueled the industrialization of the Huangpu River, a cauldron of accelerated production and bodily mobilization.”
The first phase began on November 10 with a five-day program titled A Wet-run Rehearsal, during which participants develop their work in close collaboration with the city of Shanghai. The second phase, An Ecosystem of Alliances, takes places from November 15, 2020–April 9, 2021 and includes programming across streaming platforms and social media channels; collaborations with academic institutions; and more. The final phase takes the form of an exhibition located in the Power Station of Art and at other other sites across Shanghai from April 10–June 27, 2021.
Participants include Itziar Ocariz; Himali Singh Soin; Tong Wenmin and Clare Britton; Astrida Neimanis; Sun Xiangchen; Zhao Tingyang; Weng Zijian; Wang Hongzhe; Hou Hanru; Mark Wigley, Professor and Dean Emeritus at GSAPP; Karrabing Film Collective; Yong Xiang Li; Tuan Andrew Nguyen; Pema Tseden; and Jenna Sutela; among others.