The third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) was inaugurated today by Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The three-month-long art festival that will see the participation of artists from across the world will be held across various venues in Kochi over 108 days.
Speaking at the inaugural event at Parade Ground, Fort Kochi, the CM said the Biennale had gained significant credibility in the international contemporary art world and the government was looking to develop it along the lines of the Venice Biennale, which includes implementing a project to provide a home to India’s only Biennale.
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“The ancient history of Kochi is marked with adventure and the idea to organise the Biennale here tells us that there is adventure in its present too. Just as the Biennale created history in Kochi, a permanent venue for the Biennale will also create history,” he said.
He added that the Biennale acts as a gateway between Kerala and the world, through which the diverse expressions of international art and culture move freely and are brought together under one umbrella. He also called Kochi the perfect place to host the Biennale owing to its rich cosmopolitan heritage and multi-layered cultural tapestry.
“Though the Biennale is primarily an art event, it has economic and social benefits too. It has energised the tourism sector. The statistics show that lakhs of cultural enthusiasts surged to Kochi from around the different corners of the world to view the first two editions. Both Kochi and Kerala benefit from this influx,” he said.
The focus is on dialogue between the arts. With more than 70 of the participating artistes expected to be in attendance, the Biennale will see performances by artistes through its entire duration.
This edition has been been curated by renowned contemporary artist Sudarshan Shetty, who outlined his artistic vision for the event as well. “In a time of ideological and cultural upheavals, the Biennale is an inspirational force. The stories that the KMB tells us instills a sense of pride in culture and stokes our creativity,” KBF Secretary Riyas Komu said.
KMB 2016 will feature works by 97 artists from 31 countries. Representing India, apart from familiar faces in the white cube space, are cartoonist EP Unny, Malayalam litterateur Anand, author Sharmistha Mohanty, graphic artists Orijit Sen and Avinash Veeraraghavan, theatre artistes Anamika Haksar and Kalakshetra Manipur. The calendar includes Sangam poetry recitals, dance performances and printmaking, and the main exhibition spread across 12 venues. This year’s venues include Aspinwall House, Cabral Yard, Pepper House, David Hall, Durbar Hall, Kashi Art Café, Kashi Art Gallery, MAP Project Space, Anand Warehouse, TKM Warehouse, Cochin Club and Kottapuram Fort.
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 will be on till March 29, 2017.
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