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2016.05.08 Sun, by
2016 Kochi-Muziris Biennale announce the first list of artists

[press release]

The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is pleased to announce the first list of artists who will be part of its third edition, opening on December 12, 2016. The Biennale, which will run for 108 days, from December 12, 2016 until March 29, 2017, is the largest and longest contemporary art biennial in South Asia.

The main exhibition and an ancillary programme of talks, seminars, workshops, film screenings, and music will take place across a range of venues in Fort Kochi and Ernakulam, in Kochi, Kerala, a state on India’s southwestern coast.

The third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is curated by acclaimed Indian artist Sudarshan Shetty. Long recognized as one of his generation’s most innovative artists, and best known for his enigmatic sculptural installations, Shetty was unanimously chosen by an Artistic Advisory Committee appointed by the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF). The Kochi-Muziris Biennale will be Shetty’s first curatorial project.

Chilean poet Raul Zurita at a poetry reading in Town Hall, Ernakulam, Kerala, with literary critic and translator Anna Deeny. Courtesy Kochi Biennale Foundation.

Chilean poet Raul Zurita at a poetry reading in Town Hall, Ernakulam, Kerala, with literary critic and translator Anna Deeny. Courtesy Kochi Biennale Foundation.

Speaking about developing a curatorial project on this scale, Sudarshan Shetty commented “The Kochi-Muziris Biennale creates a space for cross-cultural interactions—something that is a fundamental aspect of Kochi’s historical and mythical identity—and can also be viewed as a means of connecting the past and the present, without looking at them in binaries. It is important that we look at this biennale as part of that larger flow that comes down as a great waterfall to the present and flows through our contemporary realities and artistic practices in the form of many streams or rivers. I see my role as the curator of the Biennale as tracing the trajectories of those streams. Incorporating this idea of the streams or rivers into my curatorial approach allows me to see the Biennale as a force and flow that continues beyond its own physical time frame and space.”

The first 25 artists are Raul Zurita (Chile), Ouyang Jianghe (China), Sophie Dejode and Bertrand Lacombe (France), Caroline Duchatelet (France), Achraf Touloub (Morocco/France), Sharmistha Mohanty (India), Avinash Veeraraghavan (India), Orijit Sen (India), Anamika Haksar (India), Praneet Soi (India/Holland), T.V. Santhosh (India), Desmond Lazaro (India/UK), Daniele Galliano (Italy), Yuko Mohri (Japan), Katrina Neiburga and Andris Eglitis (Latvia), Valerie Mejer (Mexico), Camille Norment (USA/Norway), Pedro Gomez-Egana (Colombia/Norway), Hanna Tuulikki (UK), Charles Avery (UK), Gary Hill (USA), Dana Awartani (Saudi Arabia), Erik Van Lieshout (Netherlands), Naiza Khan (Pakistan/UK), Pawel Althamer (Poland)

Sudarshan Shetty’s Curatorial Note, and the list of further participants will be announced in the coming months.

Kochi Biennale Foundation
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is organized by the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), an artist-led non-profit institution founded by artists Riyas Komu and Bose Krishnamachari in 2010. Since its inception the Kochi-Muziris Biennale has established itself as a catalyst for artistic engagement and dialogue in India, becoming a repository of ideas and ideologies, an occasion to reimagine both past and present, and reflect upon the notions of diversity and cosmopolitanism as represented by the pluralism of Kochi itself. Previous editions, in 2012 and 2014, showcased the works of 183 artists from around the world, and had a combined draw of nearly a million visitors.

In addition to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, KBF also manages several education and outreach activities to augment art education, and foster wider debate and discussion on the topic of contemporary art. The Biennale’s third outing will present a multifaceted programme that also showcases the results of KBF’s outreach efforts among students of all ages. Such as the Students’ Biennale, a nationwide outreach project involving 60 Indian art colleges and curated by 15 young curators. And Art by Children (ABC), India’s first children-only art event, a project aimed at initiating youngsters into art and art appreciation with children as both artist and audience.