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RCA talks

Bodies of Water: 13th Shanghai Biennale

3 March 2021 | 6pm

Bodies of Water: 13th Shanghai Biennale - a talk given by the curatorial team of the 13th Shanghai Biennale with chief curator Andrés Jaque and fellow curators Marina Otero Verzier and Filipa Ramos.

They will be presenting the ongoing project, its collective undertaking and the various events that opened from November 13, 2020 and will be running until June 27, 2021.

The talk on Bodies of Water will be followed by a response from Shumi Bose in conversation with Ines Weizman, Guillermo Ruiz, Eleni Han.

Shumi Bose is a teacher, curator and editor based in London. She is a senior lecturer in Architecture at Central Saint Martins, and visiting lecturer at Royal College of Art. Shumi has worked as a curator of exhibitions at the Venice Biennale and at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Speaker Bios

Andrés Jaque is an architect, writer, and curator internationally renowned as one of the initiators of interscalar and transmedium approaches to urban and territorial studies. His work explores environments as the entanglement of life, bodies, technologies and environments. He holds a PhD from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). He has been the Heinrich Tessenow Stipendiat (Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S.) and Graham Foundation Grantee. He is the founder of the Office for Political Innovation, a New York/Madrid-based agency working at the intersection of research, critical environmental practices and design.

Andrés Jaque is the Director of Columbia University, Advanced Architectural Design Program – a legendary architectural innovation lab that has shaped the evolution of architecture in the last three decades. He has previously taught in Princeton University and UPM’s Higher Technical School of Architecture of Madrid (ETSAM). He has been awarded the Frederick Kiesler Prize, the most important distinction celebrating trajectories in the boundaries of art and spatial practices, the Silver Lion to the Best Project of the 14 Mostra Internazionale di Architettura della Biennale di Venezia, and the Dionisio Hernández Gil Prize to the intervention on historical enclaves. In 2018 he co-curated Manifesta 12 in Palermo, “The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence”, which inquired the ecological, technological and political role Palermo played as a site and actor of border violence and cross-pollination.

His work is part of the collection of MoMA in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago, among many others major museums around the world, and has been exhibited in international biennales, highlights including Venice, Sao Paulo and Gwanju; he has also developed projects with many of the most important cultural organizations around the world, including Victoria & Albert Museum, Het Nieuwe Instituut, London Design Museum, MoMA PS1, Columbia University, Princeton University. His publications include: ‘Superpowers of Scale’ (2019), ‘Transmaterial Politics’ (2017), ‘Transmaterial /Calculable’ (2017), ‘PHANTOM. Mies as Rendered Society’ (2013).

Marina Otero Verzier is an architect based in Rotterdam. She is Director of Research at Het NieuweInstituut (HNI), the Dutch institute for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture. At HNI she leads initiatives such as “Automated Landscapes”, focusing on the emerging architectures of automated labour, and “BURN-OUT. Exhaustion on a planetary scale”, instigating forms of coexistence, sensibility and care for multispecies, collective bodies. Recently, she curated the exhibitions “Spirits in the Material World” by Heman Chong (2019), “Steve Bannon: 

Propaganda Retrospective by Jonas Staal” (2018), and co-curated “Malware: Symptoms of Viral Infection” (2019), “I See That I See What You Don’t See” at La Triennale Di Milano (2019).

Previously, she was the curator of “Work, Body, Leisure,” the Dutch Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale (2018), Chief Curator of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale together with the After Belonging Agency, and the director of Global Network Programming at Studio-X- Columbia University GSAPP (New York).

Otero is a co-editor of Unmanned: Architecture and Security Series (2016), After Belonging: The Objects, Spaces, and Territories of the Ways We Stay In Transit (2016), Architecture of Appropriation (2019), More-than-Human (forthcoming, 2020), and editor of Work, Body, Leisure (2018).

She studied at TU Delft, Columbia GSAPP, and ETSA Madrid, where she completed her PhD. Her thesis “Evanescent Institutions” examined the emergence of a new paradigm for cultural institutions. She teaches architecture at RCA in London. From September 2020, Otero will be the Head of the Social Design Masters at Design Academy Eindhoven.
Lisbon-born Filipa Ramos is a writer and lecturer based in London. Interested in the relationship between contemporary art and cinema, her research focuses on how moving images address environmental and ecological topics, looking at how artists’ cinema fosters interspecies relationships across humans, non-humans and machines. She is a PhD Candidate at the Film and Philosophy Department of Kingston University, London.

Ramos is Curator of Art Basel Film. She is a Lecturer at the MRes Art: Moving Image of Central Saint Martins, London and the Master Programme of the Arts Institute of the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Basel.

Ramos is a founding curator of Vdrome, a programme of screenings of films by visual artists and filmmakers which she runs with Andrea Lissoni. She co-curates the symposia series The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish with Lucia Pietroiusti for the Serpentine Galleries, London.

In the past, Ramos was Associate Editor of Manifesta Journal and contributed for Documenta 13 (2012) and 14 (2017). Her writing and research on art, film and nature has been published in magazines and catalogues worldwide. 
She authored Lost and Found (Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2009) and edited Animals (London: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2016). She curated “Animalesque”, a group exhibition on becoming other at the Bildmuseet Umeå, Sweden (Summer 2019) and BALTIC, Gateshead (Winter 2019/20).

Architectures of the New Curatorial – the new lecture series from School of Architecture Research

This series, which launched earlier this term, has been initiated and organised by PhD students Eleni Han and Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa with the support of Ines Weizman, Head of the PhD Programme in the School.

Speakers are invited to reflect on the recent challenges to curatorial practices, particularly concerning an arguably new kind of architecture for research that has gained urgency during the recent pandemic. On the one hand, the pandemic revealed even further the systemic inequality intersecting multiple layers of society, but also affecting the concept of the museum and exhibition-making platforms. On the other hand, the conceptualisation of the exhibition space expanded hastily to the digital. This lecture series aims to reflect on these “architectures of the new curatorial”, inviting curators, architects and researchers that have recently produced exhibitions, or are developing work concerned with the intersectional and transnational politics of their research as a form of counter-institution, as well as how they engage the changing relation between analogue space and digital media. This lecture series looks to the practice of curating as research as a way to build new understandings of institutions, while also destabilising existing established ones.
The lectures and conversations will discuss three strands of questions: One is looking at current museum practices that address their problematic histories and institutional forms and protocols. For some institutions, it has meant a process of collective reckoning that questions their legacies, the financing of their buildings and governing structures, their endowed chairs celebrating histories of oppression, or their exhibition practices perpetuating gendered and racial discrimination. The second is looking at models of new curatorial research in architecture that helps engender feminist, anti-racist, decolonial modes of counter-institutional practices. Looking at these questions with a focus on their architectures and temporality, the conversations in this series will look at concepts of research that aim to expand their cooperation with local partners and alternative constituencies to go beyond the actual event of an exhibition. The third is looking at the potentials of digital media and exhibition design to connect new publics and ideas. It will look at what is gained and what is lost in that translation, in the politics of these technologies, as well as how conditions of precarity and exploitation are reframed and transformed when migrating to digital.

This series was created by Eleni Han, Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa with support from Ines Weizman.