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Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012

I am due to attend the second Kochi-Muziris Biennale this coming weekend and thought that it was a great opportunity to go back to my notes on the first Biennale held in 2012:

"I loved the show (in 2012), thought it was very well curated, excellently sited in old historic buildings in the historic core of Kochi and was all about celebrating art. I loved the intertwining of art with the historic past of Kochi and its forgotten old buildings. I loved that the art was truly contemporary and site specific. I loved the juxtaposition of history and crumbling infrastructure with new age art employing multimedia technology.

Siting the biennale in old crumbling buildings in the historic core of a city was a masterstroke. I loved how the buildings (exhibition space) were left in their original state. Even when the first instinct would have been to patch them up and to quickly hide away the flaws behind several coats of paint.

The heat and humidity, the sound of the generator, and mosquitoes, all made the experience much more Indian. How wonderful (and democratic) that there was no attempt to air-condition the space, make it shine, make it comfortable for the elite patrons of art. The authenticity of the experience made the biennale specifically Indian with a strong focus on India's plurality of social structure, issues of development vs. displacement, the perception of heritage and other vestiges of the past.

It felt great to walk from one building to next, one space to next, even as one was sweating like crazy, while there was little or no breeze and strong relentless sun overhead.. all because you could not get enough of the ART.

It was interesting to note that many artworks reflected the theme of displacement, conflict and human rights violation due to development or over-development in India. It was wonderful to find contemporary art that was truly a reflection of the most pressing issues in our country today."

More updates soon on the Biennale this year...