As the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is set to take off, its venues in Fort Kochi present the picture of a work in progress.

At Aspinwall House, a key venue of the event in Fort Kochi, artists, supported by labourers, were working at frenetic pace on Tuesday to lay out huge installations and sculptures.

The exhibition space itself was just about getting ready, with electricians, masons and carpenters linking up wires, plastering flaked-off walls and chiselling away at rickety wooden attics and floors. The scene replicates itself at Pepper House on the Kalvathy Road.

At Fort Kochi, a good number of artists were giving final touches to their works as a few foreign artists walked about aimlessly. Their works or part of them hadn’t arrived. “Yes, there were technical and logistic issues. While works of a few artists got stuck up with the Customs, a few got misdirected to other places,” said a Biennale organiser.

Joseph Semah’s 72 copper plates that would be cardinal to his installation, for instance, somehow landed up in Mumbai. “We finally traced it. It will reach him by evening,” said the organiser.

A biennale official said the works ran into Customs and other complications partly due to the controversy over the recommendation of the financial inspection wing of the State to ‘blacklist the biennale’. “While the State supports the biennale, they have created these roadblocks for us,” he said.

Keywords: Kochi biennale

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