December 13, 2018
The unique assemblage of contemporary art from across the globe began in Kochi late on Wednesday when the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale was inaugurated by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The 108-day event that exhibits works of 94 artists at 10 venues. After the next edition of the Biennale, there would be a ‘Design Biennale Kochi’, he said.
Curated by eminent artist Anita Dube, the Biennale is the first anywhere in the world to have women totalling more than half of the participating artists. Based on the curatorial theme of ‘Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life’, it seeks to explore newer access to art practices through seminars, workshops, lectures, cinema and performances before its conclusion on March 29 next year.
Pinarayi addressing the ceremony after a 90-minute chenda melam orchestra of 180 artistes led by renowned Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, recalled the August floods and landslides that ravaged Kerala. “The government has been spearheading the rebuilding of the State, but we have not gone back on the grant for the event,” he added. “Art is neeeded for man to be elevated from animal status.”
Vijayan said the efforts to find a permanent venue for the Biennale was gaining strength. The previous edition had a footfall of 6 lakh.
Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran spoke of a symbiotic relationship between the Biennale and the number of travellers arriving.Let this year’s Biennale act as the healer for the natural disaster the State witnessed in August,“ Bose Krishnamachari, president of the Kochi Biennale Foundation organising the festival, said.
Curator Dube noted that the Biennale seeks to blend pleasure with pedagogy. The event is divided into two parts: one, the exhibits; and the other, the Pavilion, where anyone and everyone can become a curator.
Lulu Group Chairman and Managing Director MA Yusuff Ali said his firm had donated Rs 3 crore to the Biennale. “It can only be a bigger amount next time,” he added.