The Kochi Biennale Foundation recently announced the first list of participating artists for the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), to open in December 2018.
KMB is the largest contemporary art biennale in South Asia, and the first of its kind to ever have been staged in India.
The Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) has announced the first list of participating artists working across divergent forms, styles and disciplines for the upcoming fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Emphasising the importance of inclusion and collaboration in its curatorial approach, the list features a wide range of Indian and international artists.
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) is an exhibition and ancillary programme of talks, workshops, film screenings and music that takes place across a range of venues in the city of Kochi, in Kerala, India, and this year will run from December 2018 until March 2019. The fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is curated by eminent artist Anita Dube. Her appointment as curator, unanimously decided upon by an Artistic Advisory Committee put together by the Kochi Biennale Foundation at the beginning of last year, stays with the Biennale’s tradition of being an exhibition curated by an artist. Previous curators have included Sudarshan Shetty (2016) and Jitish Kallat (2014).
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is organised by the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), an artist-led non-profit institution founded by artists Riyas Komu and Bose Krishnamachari in 2010, who were curators of the inaugural edition in 2012. The Biennale’s title invokes the diverse spirit of its site: the contemporary metropolis of Kochi, as well as its mythical past, the ancient port of Muziris, a centre of trade and cultural exchange that is still an active archaeological site. In its global outlook, the KMB seeks to explore resonances of this dynamic past alongside the pluralities of the present to posit alternatives to dominant political and cultural discourses.
On curating an exhibition of this scale, Dube notes:
My earliest intuitive vision for this edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale to explore the possibilities for a non-alienated life has remained with me. The need to listen, think, and learn with each other, particularly voices from the margins—of women, of the queer community, the oppressed castes, the whispers and signs of nature—with a spirit of freedom and comradeship is vital. In both the exhibition and the carefully designed interactive spaces, I hope the incredible range of exhibiting artists and visitors will become active participants and co-producers of the Biennale as a knowledge laboratory.
As part of her research and curatorial process, Dube visited a total of 29 countries, where she was hosted by a wide array of arts institutions and independent supporters of the Biennale. Her artist list, a selection of whom are announced below, reflects the dynamic range of practices and conversations she shared along the way.
The first 35 exhibiting artists announced, of which 12 are from India alone, include among others Akram Zaatari (Lebanon), Annu Palakunnathu Matthew (India/USA), Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (Thailand), Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroon), Heri Dono (Indonesia), Jitish Kallat (India), Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba (Vietnam), Pangrok Sulap (Malaysia), Prabhakar Pachpute (India), Rana Hamadeh (Lebanon), Rina Banerjee (India), Santu Mofokeng (South Africa), Shilpa Gupta (India), Shirin Neshat (Iran), Song Dong (China), Sunil Gupta + Charan Singh (India), Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Thomas Hirschhorn (Switzerland), Vivian Caccuri (Brazil), Walid Raad (Lebanon) and William Kentridge (South Africa).
In conjunction with creating the KMB, Kochi Biennale Foundation fosters and manages a diverse range of critical spaces for cultural and educational engagement, with an aim to strengthen contemporary art infrastructure across India. An integral part of the Foundation’s mission is to change the discourse around arts education through intervention and platforming. The Biennale’s fourth edition will present a multifaceted programme that showcases, in particular, the results of KBF’s educational efforts among students of all ages, including the Students’ Biennale, Expanded Education Forum and Art by Children – India’s first children-only art event.
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018 will open on 12 December 2018 and run until 29 March 2019, at various venues across Kochi, Kerala, India.
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