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Filipa Ramos Flows – Bodies of Water – A Reader

Part of Bodies of Water, the 13th Shanghai Biennale, and following its lines of research, this publication, a 354-pages book conceived as a unique and parallel platform to the exhibition, offers an ensemble of inspiring texts that reflect and extend the theme of the Biennale. Flows is an ensemble of texts about the relationships water creates, reveals, and erodes, and about the animal, vegetal, mineral, mechanical, digital, geological, and cosmic bodies that are formed and traversed by it. The texts gathered here portray the manners through which water shapes the earth and the world, and investigates their historical, philosophical, material, and affective significance. From bodies to other bodies, climates, ecosystems and technologies, all life forms are inextricably interconnected and interdependent. The exhibition Bodies of Water asks us to examine this living collectivity at a time when the earth is facing unprecedented challenges, from the accelerating climate crisis to the current global pandemic. The participating artists and collectives present artworks that explore caring-based approaches which negotiate our entanglement in extended ecosystems of interdependency. A significant number of these works have been specifically commissioned and conceived for the space and times of the Biennale. If the exhibition is made of the synergies between artworks, the book is made of the synergies between the ideas of the artworks. It builds conceptual and interpretative relationships that reverberate, dialogue and expand the exhibition: the book reverberates the exhibition by presenting its themes in a different format. It dialogues with the exhibition by bringing together texts that respond and engage with its theme in original and meaningful manners, which promote other forms of understanding the whole project. The book expands the exhibition's themes in a depth and directions that are not possible to achieve in the physical venues. The book takes the exhibition further afar and reveals the originality of the research made to conceive the show and the density of its ramifications of ideas and knowledge. Published on the occasion of "Bodies of Water", the 13th Shanghai Biennale, curated by Andrés Jaque with Marina Otero Verzier, Lucia Pietroiusti, Mi You and Filipa Ramos, in 2021. Filipa Ramos is Head of Research and Publications of "Bodies of Water," the 13th Shanghai Biennale. She is a Lisbon-born writer and curator based in London. Her research focuses on how art and culture address ecology, in particular the modes in which contemporary art fosters interspecies relationships across humans, nonhumans, and machines. Ramos is Curator of Art Basel Film and a founding curator of Vdrome (, a program of screenings of films by visual artists and filmmakers. She is Lecturer at the Masters Programme of the Arts Institute of the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Basel. With Lucia Pietroiusti, for the Serpentine Galleries, London, she curates the festival "The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish." In the past, she was Editor in Chief of art-agenda/e-flux, Associate Editor of Manifesta Journal, and contributed for Documenta 13 (2012) and 14 (2017). She curated "Animalesque" at Bildmuseet Umeå, Sweden (summer 2019), and BALTIC Gateshead, UK (winter 2020). She authored Lost and Found (Silvana Editoriale, 2009), edited Animals (Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2016), and co-edited Vita Nova (Bom Dia Boa Tarde Boa Noite, 2020). She is a Ph.D. candidate at the Film and Philosophy Department of Kingston University, London.
  • Flows  Bodies of Water  A Reader
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