Here is everything you need to know about the largest art exhibition in India
Curated by contemporary artist Anita Dube this year, the spectacular event brings to the Keralan city an enviable list of artists from India and around the world. About her approach to curating exhibition, Dube explains that a large part of her process involved a year of globe-hopping to 30-odd countries. “A deeply enjoyable part of the process was putting these vastly different artists into conversation in the exhibition spaces,” Dube says.
Here’s a look at what to you need to know about the Kochi Biennale this year:
1. The Theme
Through works of over 90 national and international artists, the biennale is exploring the theme ‘Possibilities for a non-alienated life’ this year. Dube explains, “I felt something was missing in the supposed age of hyper-connectivity - the warm solidarity of community. I hope that the works and model of this year’s Biennale can teach us to listen to each other, so that perhaps we can formulate ideas for a different future together.” You can check out the artists exhibiting here.
2. The Venues
The festival will be held across various venues each with its own historical significance, such as the mid-nineteenth century Durbar Hall located in the heart of Ernakulam. Pepper House is a waterfront heritage property on Kalvathi Road, and David Hall is a Dutch bungalow built around 1695.
3. The Biennale Pavilion at Cabral Yard
This edition will see a change in the usual model of the Biennale Pavilion. According to Dube, the pavilion at Cabral Yard is set to be “a non-institutional public space for conversations with no hierarchies of who could speak and what could be said and in which language.” It will be a space for people to share material with a web-integrated space for participants to display their personal work and online content from music, film and literature to viral videos.
4. The Programs and Workshops
Expect a host of interesting initiatives like the Artists' Cinema, a film program showcasing art films, documentaries, and feature films from across the world. There will also be musical performances, talks and seminars by prominent artists including Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn and Cuban installation and performance artist Tania Bruguera who will both be conducting workshops.
5. The Students’ Biennale
“This year the Students’ Biennale is expanding to include projects by art students from all over South Asia,” explains Bose Krishnamachari, artist and President of the Kochi Biennale Foundation. The projects will be curated by experienced educators and artists.
6. Kerala Flood Relief
The Kochi Biennale Foundation is using its platform to aid those affected by the devastating floods this year. “We hope that the Biennale this year can be a space for healing. The Foundation has also initiated Art Rises for Kerala (ARK), an effort to bring together the art community to support those affected,” explains Bose.
You can check out their efforts and find ways to help here.
The fourth edition of the Biennale will run from 12 December, 2018 until 29 March, 2019.
Artist Bose Krishnamachari is the founder and President of the Kochi Biennale Foundation.
Pepper House is a waterfront heritage property located on Kalvathi Road in between Fort Kochi and Bazar Road.
Uru Art Harbour, one of the venues for the Biennale, is a cultural hub located in Kochangadi.
Kochi Biennale in its 4th edition gets its first female curator in artist Anita Dube. Her curatorial approach to this edition of the Biennale follows the theme ‘Possibilities for a non-alienated life’.
Built in the 1850s by the Maharaja of Cochin to host his Royal court, with recent renovations by the Kochi Biennale Foundation the Durbar Hall has transformed into a museum quality exhibition venue.
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