Sunday, December 2, 2012

‘India’s largest contemporary public art event’

Listing the Kochi-Muziris Biennale among the top cultural events to be seen and visited this year, The Forbes magazine had mentioned it as ‘India’s largest contemporary public art event that will display some of the best works by international artists ranging from film installation to painting sculpture, new media and performance art – an event aimed at recreating the cultural legacy of the modern day Kochi and its mythical predecessor — the ancient port Muziris.’

The Wall Street Journal columnist Margherita Stancati had earlier stated in a news article: “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.”

The Kochi-Muziris Biennale 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, apart from creating a comprehensive platform for contemporary Indian art. An introductory note elaborates: “It will introduce contemporary international visual art theory and practice to India, showcase and debate new Indian and international aesthetics and art experiences and enable a dialogue among artists, curators, and the public; it seeks to reflect the new confidence of Indian people who are slowly, but surely, building a new society that aims to be liberal, inclusive, egalitarian and democratic.”

The time has come to tell the story of cultural practices distinct to the Indian people and local traditions, practices and discourses shaping the idea of India, it emphasizes.

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