KOCHI: Garnering the art market’s support for the forthcoming Kochi-Muziris Biennale, art patron and collector Shalini Passi co-hosted a dinner at her residence last week, in collaboration with the Kochi Biennale Foundation. With less than 100 days to go for the Biennale to begin, the KBF team also announced the appointment of art patron and philanthropist Feroze Gujral, co-founder of The Gujral Foundation, as a trustee of the Kochi Biennale Foundation.
Joined by a diverse group of contemporary artists, leading gallery owners and collectors, foreign dignitaries, art critics and connoisseurs, the event served as an important platform for the Kochi Biennale team, including curator Anita Dube, to share their vision for South Asia’s biggest contemporary art event.
Anita Dube, one of India’s most versatile and provocative artists, presented her approach to curating a large-scale project like the Biennale, which will showcase art practices of more than 80 practitioners from around the world.
Elaborating on this year’s theme - ‘Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life’ - she said, “My earliest intuitive vision for this edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale to explore the possibilities for a non-alienated life has remained with me. The need to listen, think and learn with each other, particularly voices from the margins - of women, of the queer community, the oppressed castes, the whispers and signs of nature - with a spirit of freedom and comradeship is vital. In both the exhibition and the carefully designed interactive spaces, I hope the incredible range of exhibiting artists and visitors will become active participants and co-producers of the Biennale as a shared knowledge laboratory.”
Speaking about the Biennale’s association with Gujral as one of its oldest patrons, Kochi Biennale Foundation joint secretary Sunil V said, “We are very happy to have the support of Feroze Gujral of the Gujral Foundation as the brand new trustee of the Kochi Biennale Foundation.
As part of their commitment to nurturing Indian contemporary art, Gujral’s organisation has offered to let us use the premises of their heritage property in Kochi, the Aspinwall House, to conduct the Biennale since the beginning of our show in 2012. Over the years, Aspinwall House has acquired the reputation of being a primary venue of the Biennale, hosting numerous artist-led projects.”
Coming close on the heels of the flood recovery efforts in Kerala, the Kochi Biennale Foundation will also lay out plans to aid flood relief funds to support the state’s rehabilitation efforts.In this regard, Bose Krishnamachari, president of the Kochi Biennale Foundation, said, “After the floods that devastated much of the state, it has been deeply moving to see the people of Kerala come together and act. Sharing and making of art is an essential part of rebuilding and healing, and we hope Kochi Biennale Foundation can aid in that effort in Kerala.
This edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale promises to be the most socially and politically significant yet. We are so happy to share a glimpse of that project with you today, and convey the potential for change that art can hold.” The fourth edition of the Biennale will be held in Kochi from December 12 to March 29, 2019.