Kochi Biennale has Chilean poet Raul Zurita as star attraction

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Kochi, May 10 (IANS) Celebrated Chilean poet Raul Zurita, Chinese poet Ouyang Jianghe, and Indian theatre personality Anamika Haksar are some of the names to look out for at the third edition of the much-awaited Kochi-Muziris Biennale this year.

The first list of 25 artists features an eclectic mix of poets, musicians, theatre and performance artists from countries like Colombia, China, France, Norway and Pakistan.

Scheduled to be held in December this year, the event comprises of a main art exhibition and an ancillary programme of talks, seminars, workshops, film screenings and music sessions.

Curated by artist Sudarshan Shetty, the event will host works by artists working across a range of media — in keeping with its mandate to broaden and blur the labels and lines attributed to art.

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“It is going to be an admixture of styles, schools and sensibilities,” said Shetty, recognised as one of his generation’s most innovative artists.

Touted as the largest event of its kind in South Asia, the 108-day-long Biennale will conclude on March 29, next year.

Other accomplished international artists include Sophie Dejode and Bertrand Lacombe, Caroline Duchatelet, from France and Katrina Neiburga and Andris Eglitis from Latvia and Valerie Mejer from Mexico.

While artist Naiza Khan represents Pakistan, India has seven artists including Orijit Sen, Praneet Soi, T.V. Santhosh and Desmond Lazaro.

While the past two editions were held in heritage properties, public spaces, and galleries in Fort Kochi and Ernakulam, the third edition will be held in venues like Aspinwall House, Pepper House, David Hall, and Durbar Hall.

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“I see Biennale as naturally embodying and carrying forward the multi-culturalism of Kochi that is nurtured by both history and myth. It creates a space for cross-cultural interactions – something that is a fundamental aspect of Kochi’s historical and mythical identity – and can also be viewed as a means of connecting the past and the present, without looking at them in binaries,” says Shetty, whose work was featured in the debut KMB in 2012.

Other highlights of the year include a ‘Students Biennale’, a nationwide outreach project involving 60 Indian art colleges, curated by 15 young curators. Apart from this, ‘Art by Children (ABC)’, a children’s-only art event, a project aimed at initiating youngsters into art and art appreciation with children as both artist and audience will be held.

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The organisers said that Shetty’s curatorial note for KMB’16 and the second list of artists will be announced soon.

The KMB is organised by the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), an artist-led non-profit institution founded by renowned artists Riyas Komu and Bose Krishnamachari in 2010.



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