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The thirteenth Shanghai Biennale. Photo: Shanghai Biennale.
The thirteenth Shanghai Biennale. Photo: Shanghai Biennale.

Shanghai Biennale Announces Theme, Artists for 2021 Edition

The Shanghai Biennale, whose thirteenth edition is scheduled to run from April 17 through July 25 at the Power Station of Art and various other locations throughout the titular city, has released a list of sixty-four participating artists, of which thirty-three will create new commissions. The theme for the Biennale will be “Bodies of Water” and the exhibition will focus especially on the relationship between humans and the earth’s climate, which is increasingly endangered. The theme is seen as particularly fitting given the Power Station’s former function as a coal-electrical plant which gave rise to the industrialization of the Huangpu River on which it sits.

“The 13th Shanghai Biennale advocates for the momentous contribution that art plays in the reconstruction of a world shaped by environmental, social and political distress. The Biennale is sensitive to the way art constitutes and infiltrates life itself, and to its capacities for bodied reparation, transformation and dissidence,” said the biennial’s chief curator, Andrés Jaque, in a statement.

Responding flexibly to the continuing Covid-19 crisis, the Biennale for its thirteenth iteration has adopted an atypical format, starting in November, when it hosted a five-day inaugural summit. This was followed by five months of programming and presentations.

The participating artists are below.

Alberto Baraya
Ana Mendieta
Antoni Muntadas
Astrida Neimanis
Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor
Clare Britton
Ayesha Tan Jones
Cao Minghao and Chen Jianjun
Carlos Casas
Carlos Irijalba
Cecilia Vicuña
Cheng Xinyi
Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe)
Dai Chenlian
Debajo del Sombrero (Andrés Fernández, José Manuel Egea, Miguel García, María Lapastora and Belén Sánchez)
Diakron and Emil Rønn Andersen
Diane Severin Nguyen
Feliciano Centurión
Guo Fengyi
Heather Phillipson
Ibiye Camp
Itziar Okariz
Jenna Sutela
Joan Jonas
Karrabing Film Collective
Kyriaki Goni
Liam Young
Michael Wang
Nerea Calvillo (C+arquitectas)
P Staff in collaboration with Basse Stittgen
Pepe Espaliú
Pu Yingwei
ReUnion X DMAS
Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen
Sun Xiaoxing
Qiu Zhen
Zhao Kunfang and Huang Siyao
Tabita Rézaire
Torkwase Dyson
Vera Frenkel
WORKac (Amale Andraos and Daniel Edward Wood)
Zadie Xa and Benito Mayor Vallejo
Zheng Mahler (Royce Ng and Daisy Bisenieks)