After completing a two-day tour of the ongoing Kochi-Muziris Biennale, veteran actor Dhritiman Chatterjee reflected on how the Indian version had set itself apart from biennales in other cities and expressed his appreciation of the conceptual and aesthetics of the latest edition.
“The Kochi Muziris Biennale is very much on the path to the international calendar of biennales. Though the list of biennales has become arm-long, the enthusiasm has fortunately made Indian version more popular. Moreover, they are able to carry the activities and initiatives year-long,” said Chatterjee, who is remembered for his compelling performance in the Malayalam movie ‘Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvannabhoomi’.
He added that the KMB has tends to create a unique mental landscape in the viewer and that it was important to experience it without any preconceived notions.
“We came here with an open mind. We didn’t research much about it. Such festivals represent the vision of curators and we cannot judge it in negative or positive way,” said Chatterjee. “These are not just art exhibitions. Conceptually, this is a different thing which the Indian audience is not familiar with. It will take some time to sink in.”
Enthused by the spaces, Chatterjee said that the 108-day event revived the urban landscape of Kochi.
“Neglected and abandoned spaces are reworked and regenerated for hosting this event. This has something to do with urban regions of Kochi which prompts the visitors to take a second look and enjoy the aesthetics,” he added.
Chatterjee’s induction into the visual world came with accompanying his geologist father on field trips where he shot his own slides. Later, at the Delhi School of Economics, Chatterjee helped launch the University’s first film society. This brought him into early contact with major Indian fil
m makers like Satyajit Ray and Shyam Benegal.
Ray’s “Pratidwandi”, Mrinal Sen’s “Akaler Sandhane”, Aparna Sen’s “36, Chowringhee Lane” and Ashoke Viswanathan’s “Shunya Theke Shuru” are some of his noted works.
“As I come from audio-visual background, we are trained to look for narratives and stories. This helps us to connect to the work on display. Moreover, I personally feel that curator has given much emphasis on the audio-visual installations,” said Chatterjee concluding “comparing to other biennales, KMB is really young.”
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