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Kochi, July 22, 2020
The Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) has announced the first list of participating artists for the 2020 edition of the Kochi Kochi-Muziris Biennale, South Asia's biggest contemporary art event -- that is slated to open here on December 12.
The exhibition, together with a programme of seminars, screenings, performances and workshops, will run for 120 days from December 12, 2020 to April 10, 2021 at various sites in the city.
This year's exhibition -- the fifth edition of the event that debuted in 2012 -- is being curated by Singapore-based Indian-origin artist and writer Shubigi Rao, a compulsive archivist and visual artist known for her complex and layered installations.
The artists who figure in the first list include Ali Cherri (Lebanon); Arpita Singh (New Delhi); Cecilia Vicuña (Santiago, Chile); Colectivo Ayllu / Migrantes Transgresorxs (Spain); DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) (Palestine); Dáiddadállu (Sámi artist collective established in Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino, Sápmi in 2014); Gabrielle Goliath (South Africa); Iman Issa (Egypt); Joan Jonas (New York, USA); Martta Tuomaala (Finland); Melati Suryodarmo (Indonesia); Mithra Kamalam (Baroda); Pio Abad and Frances Wadsworth Jones (Philippines and London); Priya Sen (New Delhi); Richard Bell (Australia); Sahil Naik (Baroda and Goa); Samson Young (Hong Kong); Seher Shah (Karachi and New Delhi); Slavs and Tatars (Berlin); Thao Nguyen Phan (Vietnam); The u-ra-mi-li project (Puducherry); Thuma Collective (Myanmar); Vasudevan Akkitham (Baroda); Yinka Shonibare (London); Zina Saro-Wiwa (Los Angeles).
"The intersections of people and incidents, flashpoints of censorship and sites, all point to the crucial importance of the political, cultural, literary, scientific and philosophical climate necessary for ideas to thrive and flourish. There is unsurprisingly no perfect concatenation of circumstances, times or epochal characteristics necessary for ground-breaking work, ideas or revolutions. The human need to think freely without proscription, in spite of, and sometimes because of repression, all point to the way we react to conflict. The only enemy is apathy. That has no name or face and it lies entwined with its bedfellow—self-censorship," Rao said in her curatorial note.
"This edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale therefore embodies the joy of experiencing practices of divergent sensibilities, under conditions both joyful and grim. There is optimism even in the darkest absurdity, and this is what leavens the direness of our time. It is in the robustness of humour that we can imagine the possibility of sustained kinship, and remember that we are not isolated in this fight. And that perhaps all that is required for an impossible ideal to exist is for enough people to live, think, and work as if it already does," she added.