MouSen + MSG, “The Great Chain of Being”. Image courtesy of Rossella De Toma
11th Shanghai Biennale: “Why not ask again?: Argument, Counter-arguments, and Stories”
The 11th edition of Shanghai Biennale has finally opened its doors. 92 artists coming from more than 40 countries have taken part to the main exhibition and to its extended key sections named “Terminals”, “Infra-Curatorial Platform”, “Theory Opera”, “51 Personae” and “City Projects”. “Why not ask again?” is the byword of this edition of Shanghai Biennale chosen by Raqs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta). The theme arises in the form of a question, carrying a double meaning and leading to a storm of interpretations: the task of “asking” can stand both to simply asking a question and trying to go beyond it, maybe reawakening a desire. For this reason, 11th Shanghai Biennale aims to go beyond the predictable.
Zheng Chongbin, “Wall of Skies”. Image courtesy of Rossella De Toma
Questions are the starting points to investigate things in order to discover and raise different feelings and emotions. Giving them primacy in this edition of the Shanghai Biennale means shifting these “pressure points” to our contemporary world by trying to find out what and how many sensations it constantly evokes. Three clear conceptual “pressure points” have been identified by the curators of this edition: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Stories. The curators imagine the 11th Shanghai Biennale artists as fairy tale figures who transform the telling of their stories presenting riddles and engines and surprising the audience intellectually.
Marina Androsovich “The Empire of Light”. Image courtesy of Rossella De Toma
11th Shanghai Biennale will be realized through a series of intersecting sections. “Terminals” involves staging posts where artists are invited to submit questions to the audience through their works. “Infra-Curatorial Platform” consists of an exploration of different curatorial key points that draw upon new questions and stressed images about all the possible ways of perceiving the curatorial issue. “Theory Opera” is another kind of discursive path that combines the heft of philosophy with the cadence of Opera in order to explore the sensuality of thoughts. “51 Personae” and “City Projects” explore daily stories of Shanghai citizens to maintain a close dialogue between the art and the city.
Power Station of Art, Shanghai
From November 11, 2016 to March 12, 2017
Wang Haichuan, “Seven Days”. Image courtesy of Rossella De Toma
Raqs group, image courtesy of Power Station of Art