June 12, 2018 - Kochi-Muziris Biennale - First artists announced
June 12, 2018

Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Kochi's Raintrees on a monsoon evening in June. Courtesy Kochi Biennale Foundation.

First artists announced
December 12, 2018–March 29, 2019

Kochi-Muziris Biennale
Various locations

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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.

Exhibiting artists for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018 include:
Aernout Mik
(Netherlands), Akram Zaatari (Lebanon), Annu Palakunnathu Matthew (India/US), Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (Thailand), B.V. Suresh (India), Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroon), EB Itso (Denmark), Goshka Macuga (Poland), Guerrilla Girls (USA), Heri Dono (Indonesia), Ines Doujak + John Barker (Austria + UK), Jitish Kallat (India), Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba (Vietnam), Madhvi Parekh (India), Marlene Dumas (Netherlands), Nilima Sheikh (India), Pangrok Sulap (Malaysia), PR Satheesh (India), Prabhakar Pachpute (India), Rana Hamadeh (Lebanon), Rina Banerjee (India), Santu Mofokeng (South Africa), Shilpa Gupta (India), Shirin Neshat (Iran), Shubigi Rao (India), Song Dong (China), Sue Williamson (South Africa), Sunil Gupta + Charan Singh (India), Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Thomas Hirschhorn (Switzerland), VALIE EXPORT (Austria), Vipin Dhanurdharan (India), Vivian Caccuri (Brazil), Walid Raad (Lebanon), William Kentridge (South Africa)

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. For a full list of initiatives, please see the Kochi Biennale Foundation’s website.

For press inquiries, please contact Diksha Gupta, diksha [​at​] kochimuzirisbiennale.org

Kochi-Muziris Biennale
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