Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020 Reveals First Artist List
By Fion Tse
The fifth edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale, titled “In our Veins Flow Ink and Fire,” has announced its first list of 25 participating artists and collectives. The Biennale will be held from December 12 to April 10, 2021.
Curated by Singaporean artist and writer Shubigi Rao, the 2020 edition sets its thematic sights on embracing “submerged and manifold stories” and the circumstances that cultivate them. In her curatorial note, Rao pays tribute to humanity’s ability to create and thrive even in desperate times, noting the ever-proliferating bodies of artistic work that probe current social, political, and economic realities. Comprising a program of seminars, screenings, performances, and workshops, the Biennale urges its audience to reimagine a shared, ideal future as a beacon of “optimism even in the darkest absurdity . . . the direness of our time.”
The upcoming edition will feature Beirut- and Paris-based artist Ali Cherri, known for his sculptures, installations, and video projects. Also revealed in the initial roster are artists of the u-ra-mi-li project, a crowdfunded performance art collective in Pondicherry; conceptual sculptor Iman Issa; and Vietnamese multimedia artist Thao Nguyen Phan, among others.
As India’s first contemporary art biennale, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, run by the nonprofit Kochi Biennale Foundation, aims to promote arts and culture education across India. The 2020 Biennale has chosen ten venues at historically and artistically significant sites, including David Hall, a 17th-century military barrack, and MAP Project Space, a former spice warehouse repurposed into an arts venue for Bangalore’s Museum of Art and Photography.
The first list of participating artists and collectives is as follows:
Ali Cherri (Beirut / Paris)
Arpita Singh (New Delhi)
Cecilia Vicuña (New York City / Santiago)
Colectivo Ayllu / Migrantes Transgresorxs (Madrid)
DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) (Beit Sahour)
Dáiddadállu (Guovdageaidnu / Kautokeino)
Gabrielle Goliath (Johannesburg)
Iman Issa (Berlin)
Joan Jonas (New York City)
Martta Tuomaala (Helsinki)
Melati Suryodarmo (Gross Gleidingen / Surakarta)
Mithra Kamalam (Baroda)
Pio Abad and Frances Wadsworth Jones (London)
Priya Sen (New Delhi)
Richard Bell (Brisbane)
Sahil Naik (Baroda / Goa)
Samson Young (Hong Kong)
Seher Shah (New Delhi)
Slavs and Tatars (Berlin)
Thao Nguyen Phan (Ho Chi Minh City)
The u-ra-mi-li project (Pondicherry)
Thuma Collective (Yangon)
Vasudevan Akkitham (Baroda)
Yinka Shonibare (London)
Zina Saro-Wiwa (Los Angeles)
Fion Tse is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.
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