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A Wet-Run Renewal

A film stream from Bodies of Water, the 13th Shanghai Biennale

With films by:
Carlos Casas, Musquiqui Chihying, Saodat Ismailova, Andrés Jaque and Ivan L. Munuera, Karrabing Film Collective, Heather Phillipson, Unknown Fields (Kate Davies and Liam Young), Zadie Xa, Yong Xiang Li 

Locations at Dreispitz Basel (4142 Münchenstein b. Basel):
der TANK at the foyer, FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Tower Building, Freilagerplatz 1,
Kunsthaus Baselland at the Dreispitzhalle, Helsinki-Strasse 5

With A Wet-Run Renewal, the Art Institute of the FHNW Academy of Art and Design together with Kunsthaus Baselland presents a special selection of films during Kunsttage Basel. The films engage with the topics of Bodies of Water, the 13th Shanghai Biennale, and follow its driving motifs—planetary re-alliance, transspecies collectivity, fluid solidarity and embodied environmentalism. The selection presented in Basel, the sole in Europe, resonates with the Art Institute’s curricula, paying special attention to art’s engagement with nature, ocean, gender and diversity. The program is conceived by Filipa Ramos together with the curatorial team of the Biennale. Ramos is a lecturer at the Art Institute and one of the curators of the Biennale. This event offers an important opportunity to visit a part of the Biennale and its ideas, given current travel restrictions.  

A Wet-Run Renewal is an ensemble of films about the relationships water creates, reveals, erodes, and about the bodies that are formed and traversed by it: human, animal, vegetal, mineral, mechanical, digital, meteorological, geological, and cosmic bodies. The films it gathers portray the manners through which water shapes the earth and the world, and investigate their historical, philosophical, material and affective significance. It brings together a selection of authors, genres, principles and topics intrinsic to the 13th Shanghai Biennale. Challenging the maxim that you cannot step in the same river twice, A Wet-Run Renewal conceives of the stream not as a linear, unidirectional intensity that passes without return, but as an entity that is unconventional, unruly and recurrent. The film stream revisits its own histories and voices—proposing that streams may find their form through variation and repetition, one and various times, always different, always akin.

The films shown in Basel on the occasion of Kunsttage Basel conceive of water as both a physical and conceptual resource. As a system of relations, a methodological reference, an epistemological means, a myth-maker, a distributor and channeler of intensities. Water as the matter through which to think and express selfhood, belonging, agency, transformation, and duration.

They are presented in two sections and on three screens: two are situated at the foyer of the FHNW Academy of Art and Design’s Tower Building and a third big one at Dreispitzhalle. This location marks, as well, the joint effort of two institutions in the sense of a long existing collaborationestablished by Chus Martínez, head of the Art Institute, and Ines Goldbach, director of the Kunsthaus Baselland, and being explicit since almost six years in the hosting of the Art Institute’s graduation exhibitions by Kunsthaus Baselland, and in the common intention to support and exhibit the artistic communities nearby. Working together means to share interests and spaces for reflection and the enhancement of values of enormous importance for past and future generations of artists.

A Wet-Run Renewal 

—A film stream of Bodies of Water, the 13th Shanghai Biennale 

Before being film this film was water. 

Before being film this film was dot and pixel.
It was byte, kilobyte and megabyte.


Before being film this film was plastic and aluminium alloy.
It was lithium, cobalt oxide and carbon graphite.
It was gold, copper and silver. Platinum and tungsten.

Before being film this film was neodymium-iron-boron alloy, dysprosium and praseodymium.
It was rare metal. Rare not because it is rare. Rare because it mixes with oxygen in a rare way.
Rare metal mined in China and now returned to China, in the shape of images. 

Rare metals turned into phones and cameras turned into images turned into pixels turned into light again. Softer better faster light.

After being film this film was cut, split, processed and rendered.
Light corrected, color corrected, sound corrected, length corrected, word corrected.
It was edited, crunched and compressed.
It was routed from server to server, from client to client, from protocol to protocol.
Uploaded, downloaded, streamed and projected. 

By machines fuelled by petroleum, petrol, oil, paraffin and water.
By hands fuelled by sun, nutrients and water. 


After being film this film was formatted, cut, weighted, packaged, pilled and wrapped. 

It was flown, shipped, driven. 


It was stored, distributed, priced, bargained, discounted, sold and bought. 


It was tested, folded, crumpled, trashed. 

You hold the film’s journey in your eyes.

You hold its water journey.

Your eyes that hold your own water journey. 

Through your eyes, spheres of watery fluids sustained by an aqueous humour, the film’s journey penetrates your body.

The retina converts words into light, light into neural signals, neural signals into excitation. 

After being film, this film will become water. 

It will mumble, cry, salivate and spit. 

Aerosols, tears, droplets and microdroplets. 

Cough, sneeze, and sweat.

Seminal and lubricious are bodily fluids.

Water connects bodies to other bodies. Water makes and unmakes bodies. Water makes bodies into other bodies. 

Dreispitz Basel / Münchenstein

Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Freilager-Platz 1 4142 Münchenstein b. Basel
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