And for a Friday in Udaipur, fresh from the Kochi Biennale….. some thoughts…..
The Kochi Muziris Biennale is in its fourth edition. Unique assemblage of contemporary art from across the globe. This 108 day event exhibits outstanding works of 94 Artists in 10 venues in Fort Kochi, Matancherry and downtown Ernakulam. Innaugrating the Biennale, Kerala CM acknowledged this Art event as one of the most anticipated events in the global cultural calendar. The curator Anita Dube describes the Exhibition as a symphony of ideas, synchronous as well as diachronous, performative in an Architectural space, maximum women Artists and all forms of expression.
Each work is so distinctive, huge and so much of installation. Sue Williamson’s work “Message from the Atlantic passages” is history retold. At least I was totally unaware till I saw the exhibit. The Dutch East India Company took thousands of people as Slaves from Cochin to Cape Town in South Africa. Slave trade is a slice of Kerala history that has been very little explored. The Artists has stewed…. bottles…. White shirts dipped in muddy waters from around Cape town Castle, printed them with details of Names, ages and names of owners of the slaves….. all from historically documented sources to remind us of the torture, hardships and dehumanisation. Its so huge and striking.
Another very different work of Frido Kahlo founder member of Guerrilla Girls….. these artists wear trademark Guerrilla masks….. “the art world has become an instrument of the Rich and Powerful, we are fighting to change that”….. the masks according to them are to retain the focus on Ideas rather than on personalities.
Each exhibit provokes questions. Each artist is expressing to better the world. Lets understand the diversities. Lets agree to disagree, but lets all build our Nation, the pluralistic way, the open expression way, the ethical way, the SEEGOS way.