Just as phenomenal as their artworks are the geographical distances the 97 artists participating in the ongoing third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) have traversed to showcase their creations.
This fact has not gone unnoticed by visitors to the Biennale, who crowd around what has come to be called “The Distance Globe” – a unique artistic creation in Aspinwall House that captures the distances travelled by the artists from 31 countries to be part of the biggest celebration of contemporary art in South Asia.
The structure, which has a globe outlined within glass panels, has been designed by Kochi Biennale Foundation Trustee and Joint Secretary Sunil V., who has also conceptualised the signage and aesthetics seen at all 12 Biennale venues.
The structure shows that Mexican painter and poet Valerie Mejer Caso has crossed the farthest distance (16,725.59 km) to participate in the Biennale. That is a travel distance almost half the circumference of the Earth, which is 40,075 km.
Among the artists who travelled more than 10,000 km to participate in KMB 2016 are Chilean revolutionary poet Raúl Zurita (15,764.30 km); Wura-Natasha Ogunji from Austin, Texas (15,526.64 km); Miller Puckette from San Diego, California (15,077.30 km); Leighton Pierce from Los Angeles, California (14,903.48 km); Tom Burckhardt, Chris Mann, Aki Sasamoto, Vyjanthi Rao, and Sergio Chejfec, all from New York (13,621.04 km); Gary Hill from Seattle (13,370.27 km); and Lisa Reihana from Auckland in New Zealand (11,437.35 km).
There are also artists from countries like Dubai, Australia, China, Japan, Germany, France, Poland and Austria, besides Indian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Puducherry, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata. There are also Malayalee artists – Tony Joseph, P.K. Sadanandan, Bara Bhaskaran, Santhosh T.V., K.R. Sunil, E.P. Unny and C. Bhagyanath – from across the state.
While considering the shortest distance travelled by inter
national artists, Sri Lankan T. Shanaathanan from Colombo has travelled the least (522.81 km) to reach Kochi.
“This structure gives visitors an idea about the participants and from where they belong,” said KMB co-founder Bose Krishnamachari. “People are seen taking pictures in front of the globe – a memory for them to carry back and cherish,” he added.
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