KOCHI: During its nearly two-month-long run, the ongoing Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) 2016 has seen a series of high-profile visits by some of the biggest and most influential names in the arts world. The verdicts on the third edition of India’s only Biennale are consistent-- it is ‘rare’ and ‘unique’.
Earlier this week, Jay A Levenson-- Director of the International Programme at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York-- visited the Biennale with a cross-departmental team of curators from one of the most respected museums in the world.
“This is my third visit to the Biennale and I’m extremely encouraged by its staying power,” said Levenson, who has coordinated MoMA’s relations with institutions in other countries, for over 20 years.
“At KMB 2016,the balance among the local, regional and international perspectives is particularly impressive. Also special is the way the Biennale continues to be able to draw all types of audiences:from the international art fraternity to the local people,” he said.
According to Levenson, the Biennale was developing into a ‘unique’ platform and he was excited to see where it went from here.
Cultural czarina Maria Balshaw, during a visit prior to her recent appointment as new director of the iconic Tate galleries in the UK-- considered one of the most important positions in the arts world, termed the Biennale “a rare and special thing”.
“The organisers deserve applause and appreciation. The art is great and the setting and locations are so apposite and the atmosphere-- crucial for an event like this-- feels radical and inclusive,” said Balshaw, who will become the first woman to oversee the four museums, that fall under the Tate banner later this year.
“There were many memorable artistic highlights. Some of the ones which I particularly liked, include the works of Yang Hongwei and Dai Xiang; Sunil Padwal’s stunning installation; Zuleikha Chaudari’s performance installation and the works of Desmond Lazaro, Yardena Kurulkar; Wura-Natasha Ogunji; Yuko Mohri and Istv¡n Cs¡k¡ny,” she said.