Kochi-Muziris Biennale Pushed to 2021
By Emika Suzuki
On October 26, the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) announced that the fifth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, originally scheduled to run from December 12 to April 10, 2021, has been postponed by 11 months due to “continued unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.” The festival will instead open on November 1, 2021, coinciding with the date of the Indian state Kerala’s founding.
Cases of the novel coronavirus have surged in the South Indian state, as well as other parts of the world. Explaining the delay to the New Indian Express, KBF president and founder Bose Krishnamachari cited “huge difficulties in bringing the materials for installations to Kochi” as a result of the pandemic. Meanwhile, KBF will “continue [its] education programs with adaptations both online and offline,” Krishnamachari said. Among these initiatives are the fourth edition of the Students’ Biennale, which organizers moved online earlier this month, as well as the Art by Children (ABC) workshops, reformatted for distance-learning.
The forthcoming Biennale, titled “In Our Veins Flow Ink and Fire,” is curated by artist and writer Shubigi Rao. Spread across ten venues, including Aspinwall House and other repurposed colonial-era sites, the exhibition will foreground “submerged and manifold stories” that interrogate notions of value, knowledge-transmission, and solidarity, as explicated in Rao’s curatorial note.
In July, KBF released a preliminary list of participating artists, featuring Arpita Singh, Iman Issa, Joan Jonas, and Thao Nguyen Phan.
Emika Suzuki is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.
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