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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020 has been postponed

While the main event has been shifted to November 2021, the education programmes of the Kochi Biennale Foundation continue both online and offline

Written by Vandana Kalra | New Delhi | October 26, 2020 7:10:25 pm
Kochi Muziris Biennale 2020, postponed, indianexpressActor Mammoothy was seen at the Kochi Muziris Biennale in 2017. (Source: AJ Joji/Kochi Muziris Biennale)

With a substantial number of coronavirus cases in India, and Kerala experiencing a second surge, the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) has announced the postponement of the fifth edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale that was to be inaugurated on December 12 this year. To be curated by Shubigi Rao, the Biennale will now open on November 1, 2021. “We have been constantly assessing the situation in discussion with our partners, and came to the conclusion that it would be best to move the Biennale to later. However, the work of culture is critical and we will continue our education programme with adaptations both online and offline,” said Bose Krishnamachari, founder member and president of Kochi Biennale Foundation.

Commenting on the new scheduled date, a release issued by the KBF states: “We expect that circumstances by then would be conducive for visitors, artists, staff, and others for a safe and complete Biennale gathering.”

One of the biggest and most awaited art events in India, during its last edition (2018-19), over a course of three months, the Biennale reportedly had a footfall of 6.2 lakh people.

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In light of the continued unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 (coronavirus), and following an extended consultation with our relevant stakeholders, we have decided to postpone the opening of the 5th edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale scheduled this December to 1st November, 2021. The first of November, dubbed as 'Kerala Piravi' or 'Kerala Day', marks the birth of the state of Kerala. We hope that circumstances by then would be more conducive for everyone to have complete Biennale experience. While we are disappointed that we will not be able see everyone until next year, we are looking forward to hosting the 4th edition of the Students Biennale online in Feb 2021. We will continue our Art by Children (ABC) programme which has been adapted as a Learning at Home programme and our educational workshops for young practitioners online. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for all the support and understanding we have received from you. Stay tuned for updates!

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The forthcoming edition of the Biennale is titled “In Our Veins Flow Ink and Fire.” In July, the first list of 20 artists and five collectives had been released by the Foundation.

While “Kochi Biennale Foundation and its programmes will continue to function”, one of the segments of the Biennale, Students’ Biennale, has been re-structured to take place online. To open on 21/2/21, the segment that sees participation of art students from across India, will be led by five curator-mentors – Adip Dutta, Archana Hande, Manoj Vyloor, Suresh K Nair and Vasudha Thozhur. The ‘Art By Children’ activities and educational workshops will also be held online.

Last month, organisers of another major art event in the country, India Art Fair, also announced that the annual event that takes place in Delhi will not be held in January-February 2021. It has been moved to 2022.

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