The coveted first list is out. Kochi–Muziris Biennale (KMB) will make its third appearance on December 16, 2016 and preparations are underway in full swing to stage one of the most significant art events in the country. Steered by Mumbai-based artist Sudarshan Shetty, the list comprises poets, musicians, theatre and performance artists besides visual artists from across the world.
While Chilean poet Raul Zurita’s name was the first to be announced, the roster includes names such as Ouyang Jianghe (poetry/installation, China), Sophie Dejode and Bertrand Lacombe (sculpture/installation, France), Caroline Duchatelet (video, France), Achraf Touloub (drawing/video, Morocco/France), Sharmistha Mohanty (poetry/installation, India), Orijit Sen (graphic arts, India), Anamika Haksar (theatre, India), Praneet Soi (drawing/sculpture/installation, India/Holland), T.V. Santhosh (painting, India), Desmond Lazaro (painting, India/UK), Daniele Galliano (painting/performance, Italy), Yuko Mohri (installation, Japan), Katrina Neiburga and Andris Eglitis (installation, Latvia), Valerie Mejer (poetry/painting, Mexico), Camille Norment (sound installation, USA/Norway), Pedro Gomez-Egana (installation, Colombia/Norway), Hanna Tuulikki (sound/word/video, UK), Charles Avery (drawing/public space installation, UK), Gary Hill (video, USA), Dana Awartani (drawing/painting, Saudi Arabia), Erik Van Lieshout (performance, Netherlands), Naiza Khan (video installation, Pakistan/UK) and Pawel Althamer (performance/sculpture, Poland). Bengaluru’s Avinash Veeraraghavan who is known for his video installations, digital prints and paintings is also part of the festival.
According to Sudarshan, the line-up is in accordance with its mandate to broaden and blur the labels and lines attributed to art.
Elaborating on his curatorial vision, Sudarshan says, “I see KMB as naturally embodying and carrying forward the multiculturalism of Kochi that is nurtured by both history and myth. The Biennale creates a space for cross-cultural interactions — something that is a fundamental aspect of Kochi’s historical and mythical identity and can also be viewed as a means of connecting the past and the present, without looking at them in binaries. It is important that we look at this Biennale as part of that larger flow (from the past) that comes down as a great waterfall to the present and flows through our contemporary realities and artistic practices in the form of many streams or rivers.”
KMB’16 will run for 108 days from December 12, 2016, to March 29, 2017, and will comprise the main art exhibition and an ancillary programme of talks, seminars, workshops, film screenings, and music sessions at a range of venues like Aspinwall House, Pepper House, David Hall, and Durbar Hall in Fort Kochi and Ernakulam.