Kochi Biennale Foundation announces its programme for 2022-23 edition which will take place between December 12, 2022 to April 10, 2023.
The Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) was founded in 2010 by artists for artists with the goal of bringing contemporary art and ideas from around the world to South Asia. The site, located in Fort Kochi, an island near Muziris, an old port on the maritime silk route, was a tribute to both a history of trade and cultural contamination, as well as a hub for global, cutting-edge contemporary art. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. While this is a time to rejoice, it has also been a time of serious reflection—to learn from our mistakes, accept our shortcomings, and continue to work in and with our present.
The foundation’s discursive and programmatic mandate, led by Director of Programs Mario D’Souza, will also evolve into a fluid, open framework that encourages slow, deliberate production and invests in co-building ecologies of care.
The biennale programme will host contributions from diverse voices and practices including Homi Bhabha with Jitish Kallat; Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Pallavi Paul and Shaunak Sen with Jeebesh Bagchi initiated by ICAS-MP and its media module Media and the Constitution of the Political; Ali Cherri; Ala Younis; The White Review with Dayanita Singh, Vikram Aditya Sahai, and Shripad Sinnakar; Manu S Pillai; and Decolonizing Architecture Art Research.
As a platform based in South Asia, how can we share space, resources, and audiences with other platforms in our regions and create a mobility of ideas and frameworks in an increasingly fragile, politically vulnerable world? We are humbled to unveil our invitations programme that brings together a plethora of exhibition formats from Asia and Africa to share our primary venues, alongside Shubigi Rao’s In Our Veins Flow Ink and Fire. These will include Tangled Hierarchy curated by Jitish Kallat (John Hansard Gallery in partnership with the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art); an exhibition around independent publishing curated by Kayfa ta (Ala Younis and Maha Mammoun); Bhumi by the Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts and the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation; and Communities of Choice curated by the Chennai Photo Biennale Foundation and Ffotogallery Wales (supported by the British Council) amongst others. The Durbar Hall in Ernakulam will see a survey of contemporary art practices from Kerala curated by Gigi Scaria, PS Jalaja and Radha Gomathy commissioned by the Kochi Biennale Foundation in association with the Kerala Lalithakala Academy.
The Kochi-Biennale Foundation will also develop a long-term partnership with HH Art Spaces in Goa, who have been invited to produce the performance program for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2022, which will include contributions from Amol K Patil, Joydeb Roaja, Sarah Naqvi, and Hilal Ahmed, among others. This edition also represents the culmination of our collaborations with UNESCO and the Muziris Heritage Project in a variety of programs along the Periyar River and in Fort Kochi.
The DBF-KMB Award is a multi-year exhibition and lecture series organized by the Hayward Gallery, the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation (DBF), and the Kochi Biennale Foundation. The Award will provide an opportunity for one rising South Asian artist participating in the biennale to present their first institutional solo show in the UK at the Hayward Gallery’s HENI Project Space. With artist Pranay Dutta’s commission for the platform, KMB is also happy to be one of the worldwide partners for TBA21’s st_age.
The fifth edition of the Students Biennale will evolve through the duration of its exhibition and continue beyond its timeline. With the limitations of state education and to challenge the pressure to be exposed to materials, methods, and texts not relevant to our context, this edition will be informed by its student artists and the diversity of their practices, ideas and needs. Led by Yogesh Barve and Saviya Lopes, Amshu Chukki, Arushi Vats, Suvani Suri, Afrah Shafiq, Premjish Achari and the Anga Art Collective, we hope to produce safe, transforming spaces for conversations and making.
The KBF’s International Residency program will also grow to emphasize artistic research and thematic frameworks. These will comprise two long-term multi-partner collaborative initiatives that will consider and question both the Indian Ocean world and the concept of Asia. In the run-up to the biennale, a wider framework will be announced.
The Art by Children (ABC) program is a research-driven art education program for communities, children, art educators, and teachers. This year will also see the start of two new art rooms in Calicut, financed by the Faizal & Shabana Foundation, as part of our ongoing ABC initiative managed by Blaise Joseph. ABC will also work to train art educators and develop and distribute curriculum across India.
We are also excited to open our Knowledge Lab, which will aim to foster and advance thinking and ideas in the hopes of broadening our approach to our rapidly changing world. It will promote a reciprocal exchange of ideas in order to lay the groundwork for future work and scholarship. The Lab will serve as an incubator for research and knowledge generation, drawing on and learning from regional voices and scholarship. This year, our discursive program will also include assistance for thinking and understanding about independent publishing, artist books, documentation, and archive activities. Throughout the biennale, a separate publishing pavilion will feature publishing techniques from South Asia, Asia, and Africa.