Kochi - Muziris Biennale was the first of its kind to be staged in India in more than 110 years of its history. Held in the old world town of Fort Kochi and surroundings, this exhibition of contemporary art was also an amalgam of culture and history. With artists from different corners of the world uniting for the brilliant displays of art work, the whole of Fort Kochi was painted down. The old spice godowns, the dingy rooms, the dusty attics, the narrow alleys, the barren walls, the uprooted trees, the disused structures, the old dilapidated buildings and the galleries and halls of Fort kochi and surrounding islands came alive during the biennale which was held from December 2012 to March 2013. With the tourist season at its peak, the visitors kept profusely flowing in and it included not only the locals but also foreign tourists, celebrities and politicians. The biennale a magnificent visual experience with a plethora of paintings, photography, sculptures, graffiti, videos, seminars, documentary screenings, workshops, music and performance art. The dingy and spicy aroma filled rooms and attics of the many heritage buildings and dilapidated structure were so thoughtfully used for the art display. The main venue was Aspinwall House along with Pepper house, Moidu's Heritage Plaza, David hall, Kashi Art gallery and Durbar hall. Even though there was not much support from the well known artists, this display of contemporary arts by numerous artists from across the globe did turn out to be a huge success. I did have a few personal favourites- Look Back by Daniel Connell, Last Supper Gaza by Vivek Vilasini, Black Gold by Vivan Sundaram, Shock of Time by Sun Xun, Islamic Violins by Ibrahim Quraishi, Life is a River by Ernesto Neto, Citizens Band by Angelica Mesiti and Oil canvases by Ratheesh.T.
I was there on the final two days of the event and that is the reason why this post could not reach out to all when the event was in its full swing. Here is a link to their website- http://kochimuzirisbiennale.org/
For those who could not make it to Kochi- Muziris Biennale, here are a few photographs from the same.
|HFV Project by Ariel Hassan|
|Old paper cuttings framed inside Kashi art cafe|
|An old cartoon strip by O V Vijayan|
|Look Back by Daniel Connell|
|Dutty Water by Wangechi Mutu|