Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018/19
12.12.2018 - 29.03.2019
It is with great excitement that the Kochi Biennale Foundation announces the first list of participating artists for the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB). KMB is the largest contemporary art biennale in South Asia, and the first of its kind in India. The main exhibition and an ancillary programme of talks, workshops, film screenings, and music will take place across a range of venues in the city of Kochi, Kerala.
In its title, the Biennale is an invocation of the latent cosmopolitan spirit of the contemporary metropolis, Kochi, as well as its mythical past—the ancient port of Muziris, a centre of trade and cultural exchange that is still an active archaeological site. In spirit, the Biennale seeks to explore resonances of this past alongside the pluralities of the present in the current global context to posit alternatives to dominant political and cultural discourses. Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an invitation of dialogue for new aesthetics and politics—rooted in its socio-geographical setting, but receptive to winds blowing in from other worlds.
The fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is curated by eminent artist Anita Dube. Her appointment as curator, unanimously decided upon by an Artistic Advisory Committee put together by the Kochi Biennale Foundation at the beginning of last year, stays with the Biennale’s tradition of being an exhibition helmed by an art practitioner.
On curating an exhibition of this scale, Dube notes: “My earliest intuitive vision for this edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale to explore the possibilities for a non-alienated life has remained with me. The need to listen, think, and learn with each other, particularly voices from the margins—of women, of the queer community, the oppressed castes, the whispers and signs of nature—with a spirit of freedom and comradeship is vital. In both the exhibition and the carefully designed interactive spaces, I hope the incredible range of exhibiting artists and visitors will become active participants and co-producers of the Biennale as a knowledge laboratory.”
As part of her research and curatorial process, Dube visited a total of 29 countries where she was hosted by a wide array of arts institutions and independent supporters of the Biennale. Her artist list, a selection of whom are announced here, reflects the dynamic range of practises and conversations she shared along the way.
Kochi Biennale Foundation
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is organized by the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), an artist-led non-profit institution founded by artists Riyas Komu and Bose Krishnamachari in 2010. In conjunction with creating the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, KBF fosters and manages a diverse range of critical spaces for cultural and educational engagement, with an aim to strengthen contemporary art infrastructure across India.
An integral part of the Foundation’s mission is to change the discourse around arts education through intervention and platforming. The Biennale’s fourth edition will present a multifaceted programme that showcases, in particular, the results of KBF’s educational efforts among students of all ages. The Students’ Biennale, the largest of KBF’s educational initiatives in scale, brings together undergraduate and graduate students from across the SAARC countries under the guidance of prominent educators and curators—culminating in projects exhibited in parallel to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. In this edition, Students’ Biennale is also initiating the Expanded Education Forum, which aims to make pedagogical and curricular interventions in arts educational institutes across the country. Art by Children (ABC) is India’s first children-only art event—a project aimed at initiating and enriching primary school students’ experience of making and thinking about art. Another ongoing project is the Pepper House Residency + Exhibition, which hosts cycles of international artists throughout the year, offering the chance to create a body of work whilst in Kochi, with an exhibition alongside the main Biennale.
Expanded artist list
Aernout Mik (Netherlands), Akram Zaatari (Lebanon), Arunkumar HG (India), Anju Dodiya (India), Annu Palakunnathu Matthew (India/US), Anoli Perera (Sri Lanka), Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (Thailand), BV Suresh (India), Bapi Das (India), Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroon/ France), Bracha Ettinger (Israel/France), Brook Andrew (Australia), Chandan Gomes (India), Chitra Ganesh (USA/India), Chittaprosad (India), Dennis Muraguri (Kenya), Domenec (Spain), EB Itso (Denmark), Goshka Macuga (Poland/UK), Guerrilla Girls (USA), Hassan Khan (Egypt), Heri Dono (Indonesia), Ines Doujak + John Barker (Austria + UK), Jitish Kallat (India), Julie Gough (Australia), Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba (Japan/Vietnam), Juul Kraijer (Netherlands), KP Krishnakumar (India), Kausik Mukhopadhyay (India), Madhvi Parekh (India), Marlene Dumas (Netherlands), Martha Rosler (USA), Marzia Farhana (Bangladesh), Mrinalini Mukherjee (India), Mochu (India), Monica Mayer (Mexico), Nathan Coley (UK), Nilima Sheikh (India), Otolith Group (UK), PR Satheesh (India), Pangrok Sulap (Malaysia), Prabhakar Pachpute (India), Priya Ravish Mehra (India), Probir Gupta (India), Radenko Milak (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Rana Hamadeh (Netherlands/Lebanon), Rehana Zaman (Pakistan), Rina Banerjee (US/India), Rula Halawani (Palestine), Santu Mofokeng (South Africa), Shambhavi Singh (India), Shilpa Gupta (India), Shirin Neshat (Iran/USA), Shubigi Rao (Singapore), Song Dong (China), Sonia Khurana (India), Subhash Singh Vyam + Durgabai Vyam (India), Sue Williamson (South Africa), Sunil Gupta + Charan Singh (India/UK), Sunil Janah (India), Tabita Rezaire (France/French Guyana/South Africa), Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Tania Candani (Mexico), Tejal Shah (India), Temsuyanger Longkumer (India/UK), Thomas Hirschhorn (Switzerland/France), VALIE EXPORT (Austria), Veda Thozhur Kolleri (India), Vicky Roy (India), Vinu VV (India), Vipin Dhanurdharan (India), Vivian Caccuri (Brazil), Walid Raad (Lebanon/USA), William Kentridge (South Africa), Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries (South Korea), Zanele Muholi (South Africa)