കൊച്ചി-മുസ്സിരിസ് ബിനാലെ / കൊച്ചി-മുചിരി ദ്വൈവാര്ഷിക കലാപ്രദര്ശനം
|Begins||12 December 2012|
|Ends||17 March 2013|
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an international exhibition of contemporary art held in Kochi, Kerala. It is the first Biennale being held in India. The exhibition was set in spaces across Kochi, Muziris and surrounding islands. The shows were held in existing galleries and halls, and site-specific installations in public spaces, heritage buildings and disused structures.
Indian and international artists exhibits artworks across a variety of mediums including film, installation, painting, sculpture, new media and performance art.Through the celebration of contemporary art from around the world, The Kochi-Muziris Biennale seeks to invoke the historic cosmopolitan legacy of the modern metropolis of Kochi, and its mythical predecessor, the ancient port of Muziris.
Alongside the exhibition the Biennale offers a rich programme of talks, seminars, screenings, music, workshops and educational activities for school children and students.
The Birth Of Kochi-Muziris Biennale
In May 2010 Mumbai based contemporary artists of Kerala origin, Bose Krishnamachari and Riyaz Komu was approached by, then culture minister of Kerala M.A Baby to start an international art project in the state. Acknowledging the lack of an international platform for contemporary art in India, Bose and Riyas proposed the idea of a Biennale (a large scale international exhibition) in Kochi on the lines of the Venice Biennale.
First Kochi-Muziris Biennale
The First Kochi-Muziris Biennale began on 12 December 2012(12/12/12). The biennale hosted 80 artists with nearly 50 percent foreign artists, site-specific works and a sustained education programme in the three months.As a run-up to the event, in April, the Durbar Hall Kochi will host German modern artist Eberhard Havekost's exhibition “Sightseeing Trip”, held in collaboration with Dresden State Art Collections. The Aspinwall House exhibits the art works of 44 artists spread across the premises.
Entry was free till 23 December which was then replaced by ticketed entry at Rs.50 to help pay for daily running costs. According to artist and Kochi-Muziris Biennale artistic director Bose Krishnamachari support has come in many forms. Shalini and Sanjay Passi held a INR 25,000-per-head dinner in the capital to raise funds, raising 550000 (US$8,800). Google met with the foundation and has offered help with the website, which received 7.5 million hits in the first month. The Jindals of Jindal Steel and Power Limited, the late Kerala Congress leader T.M. Jacob, R.K. Krishna Kumar of Tata group, Jayanta Matthews of Malayala Manorama and the businessman Shibu Mathai have all donated.
The sites for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale were:
- Aspinwall House
- David Hall
- Pepper House
- Moidu's Heritage
- Durbar Hall
- Cabral Yard
- Parade Ground
- Fort Kochi Beach
- Kashi Art Gallery
- Jew Town Road Godown
- Rose Street Bungalow
- Cochin Club
Reactions and Controversies
According to Tate Modern, Kochi-Muziris Biennale was the best biennale they had ever seen. The biennale accrued 150,000 visitors in its first month and 250,000 visitors in its second, averaging a thousand visitors a day (as high as 5,000 daily and 10,000 on weekends, early January). Local people have stepped up, on an individual level, realising what the biennale has done for them, socio-economically and culturally, and in terms of putting Kochi on the international culture map, something that does not go unappreciated in Kerala. McKinsey and companies have expressed their interest in studying the Biennale to know its economic effects.
According to Karthyayani G. Menon, director of Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai, Kerala — unlike Mumbai, Baroda or Kolkata had not been in the forefront in encouraging artists and giving them good platforms but now she hoped that the biennale would mark a change to that situation.
Many of eminent artists in Kerala raised concern over the alleged lack of transparency in the way the funds were spend by Kochi-Muziris Biennale foundation. At the same time many known contemporary artists of the state of Kerala had come out in support of the event as it could help in enhancing the image of Kochi.
- "Kochi becomes Biennale city". The Hindu. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-17.
- "Kochi’s gift to the world". The Hindu. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "‘Biennale reflects changing Indian art scene in a decade’". The Hindu. 17 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- "Biennale will enhance Kochi's image: artist". The Hindu. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
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