Curated by Shubigi Rao, the fifth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale was declared open for art enthusiasts on Friday, and on display are over 200 projects spread across heritage properties and warehouses, galleries and public spaces across the commercial capital of Kerala, Kochi.
With ‘In our Veins Flow Ink and Fire’ as the central theme, the Biennale will conclude on April 10, 2022, featuring 88 artists.
Rao said that returning after a gap of four years, the fifth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale examines how we survive through songs, materiality, joy, humour, and through language, whether written, verbal or oral.
“After the states of fear, trauma and uncertain limbo of the pandemic years, it may seem strange to call for joy. Where is this optimism? Perhaps we can sense it more tangibly in artistic and collective works, especially in regional or particular contexts and forms of the artists gathered here for the Biennale,” said Rao.
She went on to point out that these artists find their counterparts across the world with work that includes questions like the possibly redemptive and revolutionary power of practice beyond the market.
“Our co-mingled virtual futures are not mere outcomes of social isolation of the last two years. We are inextricable from the transmission of knowledge, ideas and capital, and so too are we subject to neoliberal infiltration and control. We can be messy in our attempts to remake or reshape our world in our struggles for equity, but rather than inchoate, these are non-conformist compositions, songs of new making. In the face of capriciousness and volatility, against all odds, this Biennale thrums with the power of storytelling as strategy, of the transgressive potency of ink, and transformative fire of satire and song,” Rao said.
The Biennale venues are open for art enthusiasts for 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The ticket price is Rs 150. Students and senior citizens can avail of concession and be charged Rs 50 and Rs 100 per person, respectively.
Bose Krishnamachari, President of the Kochi Biennale Foundation, said, “We are optimistic and are learning from Shubigi Rao’s vision for ‘In our Veins Flow Ink and Fire’ of how artists navigate the realities of their conditions and hold hope with their creative intelligence and humour.”