Sunday, September 2, 2012

12/12/12 to set a new milestone for Indian art

The custodianship of a sustainable and solid platform for contemporary Indian art is central to the Kochi Biennale Foundation’s purpose and activity.

It works towards promoting broad consensus on investment in art infrastructure and ensuring public access to it across the country by initiating a continued dialogue between public, Government and international arts institutions and artists themselves. In fact, the foundation is keen to position it on the contemporary art calendar like the Shanghai art fair and the Basel art show, in the years to come.

Thanks to it, India's thriving art scene is all set to witness an ambitious event of global scale, albeit enmeshed in local traditions and ethos. The Wall Street Journal columnist Margherita Stancati reveals: “Artists and art lovers often complain that not enough is being done to promote contemporary art in the country outside a commercial framework. As a result, the room for discourse on contemporary art in India has so far been relatively limited. We need to create that space, according to Riyas Komu.

"The start date for the event - a ‘first step’ in that direction’ - has been set: a prophetic 12/12/12. The idea behind it is to provide a platform for contemporary art in India that is neither a gallery not a trade fair.” Very preliminary figures put the event’s outlay at $15 million; part of it to be provided by the state government, and the rest to come from private sponsorships and contributions.

Importantly, the Biennale will focus more on art orientation, artistic expression and its relationship with society than merely commerce and sales, asset building and investment. It aspires to emerge as a new space and a fresh voice that protects and projects the autonomy of the artist and their pursuit to constantly reinvent the world we live in.

In essence, it aims at creating a new idiom of cosmopolitanism combined with modernity rooted in the lived and living experience of an ancient trading port, which, for over six centuries, has been a crucible of many communal identities.

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