Coming up Jaque

Andrés Jaque will curate the Shanghai Art Biennale 2020

Andrés Jaque is the first architect to be appointed as Chief Curator of the Shanghai Art Biennale. (Luis Díaz Díaz)

Andrés Jaque, the architect, writer, professor, and 2015 winner of the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, has recently been appointed the Chief Curator of the Shanghai Art Biennale 2020. Jaque first announced the news via Twitter on November 29. For its thirteenth edition, the biennale will be held at the Power Station of Art (PSA), the first state-run museum dedicated to contemporary art in mainland China. A press release from the PSA Academic Committee stated that Jaque was selected for his ability to “establish connections between art and the public through his frequent interdisciplinary collaborations with artists, scientists, architects, historians, ecologists, and other like-minded individuals.”

The Shanghai Art Biennale was the first international biennale of contemporary art on the Chinese mainland when it was first launched in 1996, and it soon became one of the most widely followed internationally. Previous iterations of the biennale have centered on the themes of history, modernization, social production, and urbanism. Commenting on his role in the biennale’s thirteenth edition, Jaque stated that he would like the city of Shanghai to not only be its host, but also “a fundamental actor in the discourse, content, and experience.” In this vein, Jaque will commission new projects from talent around the city “as a way to assemble different kinds of sensitivity and knowledge through art-making, and moreover, as a way to empower the legacy the Biennale leaves for the social issues the city is constituted on.”

Jaque’s appointment reflects one of the first for an architect, as previous curators of the biennale—including Cuauhtémoc Medina, Anselm Franke, Qiu Zhijie, and Raqs Media Collective—have primarily identified as artists and art curators. The thirteenth edition of the biennale will be held from November 13, 2020, through March 28, 2021, and its theme will be announced in January.

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