The carnival ends, the colours remain

A floating installation next to Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi is dedicated to fishermen from Fort Kochi who lost their lives at sea. The artwork, which carries photographs of the fishermen, was created by Sandeep More, Nilesh Vishwakarma and Deven Bane, three Mumbaikars who had volunteered for the Biennale. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat  

The first edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale will draw to a close here on Sunday. The Biennale flag which was unfurled on 12/12/12 at Aspinwall House, the main venue of the event, will be lowered at 6 p.m., signalling the conclusion of the three-month contemporary art festival. Scheduled to close on 13/03/13, the event was extended by four days to accommodate visitors crowding in on the last few days. The next edition of the biennale will begin in the city on December 12, 2014, said artist Riyas Komu, secretary of the Biennale Foundation.

Works by 89 artists from 23 countries were featured at the 14 venues of the biennale. According to the organisers, Rs.15 crore was the total expenditure of the art event that attracted close to four lakh visitors.

Venues of the Biennale that had been opened to the public for the first time just for the event will now go back to their slumber. The art, however, does not stop with the official closing ceremony.

Programme for artists

Pepper House at Mattancherry will now host an international residency programme for artists and art students, office-bearers of the Biennale Foundation said at a press meet here on Saturday. “Artists from all over the world can come here and work as part of the programme. Our artists will also get a chance to go abroad,” said Bonny Thomas, cartoonist and foundation trustee.

Mr. Komu, curator of the biennale, said art projects started as part of the biennale would continue in the city. A statue of Chinnathambi Annavi, the founder of Chavittu Natakam, is coming up at Gothuruth. Artist Anto K. George is working on the sculpture on a piece of land allotted by the Holy Cross Church in Kadalvathuruth.

The foundation has also started work on a film about the city’s problems. It will be completed in about nine to 10 months, said Mr. Komu.

Over 70 per cent of the artworks exhibited at the biennale were created for the event, touching upon the history and politics of the city and Muziris. Many of these will now move on to art galleries all over the world. Subodh Gupta’s installation featuring a traditional boat will be showcased at Hauser & Wirth gallery in London. Amar Kanwar’s ‘The Sovereign Forest’ will be exhibited at the Sharjah Biennial that opened earlier this week.

As the biennale concludes, a ‘Thank You Walk’ will be taken out from Aspinwall House to the Parade Ground at Fort Kochi after the biennale flag is lowered.

A music concert at Vasco da Gama square featuring bands Kaav, Backwater Blues, Third Eye, and Green Folio will close the first edition of the event.

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