The next fortnight at the Kochi biennale
Don't miss Pond Near The Field, an exhibition that looks at Kerala's journey in the Indian art world
Last week saw the opening of the third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), titled Forming In The Pupil Of An Eye, and curated by Mumbai-based artist Sudarshan Shetty.
The biennale’s curatorial construct includes conventions, dialogue, performances and collateral exhibitions. As the three-month-long biennale settles into a quieter pace, we look at what’s on the schedule this month.
The KMB’s Let’s Talk series of dialogues continues with writer Amrith Lal in conversation with Malayalam author Anand at The Pavilion in Cabral Yard on 18 December. Anand’s work—short stories, essays and articles—is known for its opposition to Hindu fundamentalism.
On the same day and at the same venue, Artists’ Cinema, which promises to bring the most interesting video art to this year’s biennale, will show Australian film-maker Stephen Page’s Spear, a film that uses dance and movement to depict a young aboriginal man’s journey into the modern world.
On 20 December, students of the Bengaluru-based Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, along with art curator Meena Vari, will turn Mattancherry’s Mill Hall auditorium into the Srishti Outpost. Srishti is known for its experimental use of technology in the arts as well as public art projects such as Art In Transit across the Bengaluru Metro, one station at a time.
Dissent And Discourse, a dialogue between Congress member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor, art critic Alka Pande, Bharatiya Janata Party politician Shazia Ilmi and KMB co-founder Riyas Komu, moderated by writer Aditi Anand, will take place at The Pavilion in Cabral Yard. The discussion will focus on the role of artists in challenging cultural narratives by shifting perceptions in ways traditional media cannot. The dialogue relates to an ongoing collateral exhibition, titled Dissent And Discourse: The Art And Politics Of Brij Mohan Anand, at Greenix Village in Fort Kochi. Though largely unknown, Anand’s work (recently rediscovered in the attic of his home) was in reaction to specific political events, such as India’s first successful nuclear test at Pokhran in 1974.
Taking off from 14th century Italian painter Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s fresco, The Allegory Of Good And Bad Government, six speakers will convene on 27-28 December to discuss good governance, as conceived in the cultural histories of India and Europe. The speakers include philosopher Bernard Stiegler, Divya Dwivedi from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi’s humanities department, researcher and author Shaj Mohan and St Stephen’s College professor of philosophy Vijay Tankha.
A show that shouldn’t be missed is the ongoing Pond Near The Field, an exhibition curated by Roobina Karode and featuring five alumni of the College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram, from its early days. The show looks at Kerala’s journey in the Indian art world through these five senior artists. The exhibition also takes the biennale out of Fort Kochi into the Kerala Museum in Ernakulam—a short ferry ride away.
Srishti Outpost, Dissent And Discourse: The Art And Politics Of Brij Mohan Anand and Pond Near The Field will be on view till 29 March.