Kochi (Cochin) is among the few cities in India where pre-colonial traditions of cultural pluralism continue to flourish. These traditions pre-date the post-enlightenment ideas of cultural pluralism, globalization and multiculturalism. They can be traced to Muziris, the ancient city that was buried under layers of mud and mythology after a massive flood in the 14th century. The site was recently identified and is currently under excavation. It is necessary to explore and, when necessary, retrieve memories of this past, and its present, in the current global context to posit alternatives to political and cultural discourses emanating from the specific histories of Europe and America. A dialogue for a new aesthetics and politics rooted in the Indian experience, but receptive to the winds blowing in from other worlds, is possible. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale seeks to explore the hidden energies latent in India’s past and present artistic traditions and invent a new language of coexistence and cosmopolitanism that celebrates the multiple identities people live with. The dialogue will be with, within, and across identities fostered by language, religion and other ideologies. The Biennale seeks to resist and interrogate representations of cosmopolitanism and modernity that thrive by subsuming differences through cooption and coercion. The event will host around 80 artists, including a sizeable number of foreign galleries. To be held in Kochi, Kerala, the three-month-long Biennale will be held in Fort Kochi and Durbar Hall. Among the artists to be showcased are Subodh Gupta, Ranbir Kaleka, and Bani Abidi, Fiona Tan from Indonesia, Mexico-based Gabriel Orozco and African artist Wangechi Mutu.
Once in Kochi we are sure you would surely like to explore the quintessential treasures of Kerala post and pre this event. As it would happen to any such event, this biennale was also amidst controversies but all seems to be settled now. We shall keep on updating you with any other details.