For renowned Malayalam filmmakers Shaji N. Karun and Sathyan Anthikad, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) is a space that provides clarity and oxygen to the creative expressions inside one’s mind.
“My visit to the Biennale was a self-realising experience. I was carried away to different realms of art. I have heard and read about the Biennale, but was ignorant about the relation between filmmaking and art until I experienced it,” said Anthikad, who is popular among Malayalam film audiences for such family entertainers as Nadodikkatu (1987) and Sandesham (1991).
Following a guided tour of Aspinwall House on Thursday, Anthikad said, “The artworks here bring viewers new feelings, knowledge and experiences. For instance, I live near Ponnani, but it took K.R. Sunil’s photo series at the Biennale to provide me information on its historical background. It is only because of his artistic camera work and attention to detail that our focus falls into some elements that otherwise go unnoticed,” Anthikad said.
He also marked Romanian artist István Csákány’s work Ghost Keeping for special mention. “The installation left me awestruck as the artist made an entire tailoring factory with wood, without even using a single nail. Similarly, there are lot of visuals that invoke the imagination and bring aesthetic pleasure,” added Anthikad, a five-time Kerala state film award winner.
Beyond the art appreciation on offer, Anthikad also pointed out how the event appropriates and aids the historically relevant spaces it inhabits. “With the Biennale taking place in Fort Kochi, a vital heritage zone near the seaside is being preserved that otherwise would have been exploited or lost in the name of development,” he added.
Meanwhile, master filmmaker Shaji N. Karun observed that the artworks at the Biennale reflect certain conceptualised ideas. “The Biennale has brought clarity to some creative expressions that are otherwise stuck in our minds. Filmmakers, writers, poets and dreamers can take away some valuable experiences from the works exhibited here,” said Karun, who won a National Award for his debut feature Piravi (19
88). He made his third visit to KMB 2016 on Friday.
“Visitors who return for the third edition of the Biennale won’t be the same as those who visited here in the first edition six years ago. They will have a significantly higher capacity for observation and expression,” said Karun, who noted that the “breathing space” between two editions of the Biennale helped richen the experience and takeaways from the event.
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