Whorled Explorations

Whorled Explorations

Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Aspinwall House, Fort Kochi main venue for Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014.

October 25, 2014

Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014
Whorled Explorations
12 December 2014–29 March 2015

Kochi Biennale Foundation
1/1903, Kunnumpuram
Fort Kochi PO
Kerala 682001
India

T +91 484 2215297
info [​at​] kochimuzirisbiennale.org

kochimuzirisbiennale.org

Curated by Jitish Kallat

The second edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale, titled Whorled Explorations, curated by artist Jitish Kallat, is slated to open on 12 December.The exhibition, featuring 95 artists from 30 countries, will be open to the public for 108 days, until 29 March 2015.

The Kochi-Muziris Biennale takes place at multiple venues in the city of Kochi in Southern India. Kochi-Muziris Biennale’s inaugural edition in 2012 was founded and curated by artists Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu. Drawing on the rich tradition of public action in Kerala, the Biennale strives to be a forum for intelligent and creative responses to the realities we inhabit.

Whorled Explorations, the central exhibition, will be accompanied by “History Now,” a series of talks​​ and seminars conceived by the Kochi Biennale Foundation running through the 108 days of the Biennale​​. In addition, there will be the Student’s Biennale, a pilot programme opening on 13 December engaging students from government-run art colleges across India, led by young curators selected from across the country. The programmes also include performances, collateral events, interactive projects for children, as well as the Artist’s Cinema project.

The Kochi Biennale Foundation hereby shares Artistic Director Jitish Kallat’s curatorial note as an invitation to visit the Biennale and re-think our world from the vantage point of the Malabar Coast:

“Two chronologically overlapping, but perhaps directly unrelated, historical episodes in Kerala during the 14th to 17th centuries became parallel points of departure for Whorled Explorations. Drawing from them, allusions to the historical and the cosmological recur throughout the exhibition like exaggerated extensions to gestures we make, when we try to see or understand something. We either go close to it or move away from it in space, to see it clearly; we also reflect back or forth in time to understand the present. Whorled Explorations draws upon this act of deliberation, across axes of time and space to interlace the bygone with the imminent, the terrestrial with the celestial.

From the 15th century, the shores of Kochi were closely linked to the maritime chapter of the ‘Age of Discovery,’ a tale of grit, greed and human ingenuity as a string of navigators arrived here after traversing large uncharted portions of the planet seeking spices and riches. The era heralded an age of exchange, conquest, coercive trading and colonialism, animating the early processes of globalization. This drama of search, seduction and subjugation decisively altered the cartography of the planet. Within the shifting geography were sharp turns in history where we find, in an embryonic form, several of the themes we inherit in our world today.

The 14th to 16th century was the time when astronomer-mathematicians belonging to what came to be known as the Kerala School of Astronomy and Mathematics were making transformative propositions for understanding our planet and locating human existence within the wider cosmos. They were making mathematical breakthroughs, amongst them treatise on trigonometry and the calculus. Acknowledging this vibrant history, Kochi might serve as an interesting site to invoke the mysterious expedition of our planet earth, our shared dwelling hurtling through space at a dizzying velocity. None of the interdependent cohabitants of this twirling tenement seem to experience its speed or comprehend its direction; a productive state of uncertainty from where we may investigate several questions about our existence take stock of our collective conflicts and ecological footprint, even as we continue to examine our place in an ever-inflating cosmos.

Whorled Explorations is conceived as a temporary observation deck hoisted at Kochi. The exhibition draws upon a wide glossary of signs from this legendary maritime gateway to bring together sensory and conceptual propositions that map our world referencing history, geography, cosmology, time, space, dreams and myths.”

Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014: Whorled Explorations
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