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Kochi-Muziris Biennale to Present Infra-projects as a Novel Feature

In Entertainment
December 13, 2018

For the first time, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) will have in this edition a set of curators assembling artworks within the framework of the festival. Called ‘infra-projects’, each of them is an assortment of items that contribute to the larger spirit and body of Biennale 2018.

A total of four infra-projects have found their place at the 108-day event following an invitation by Anita Dube as the curator and artistic director of KMB beginning on December 12. These works add to the novelty of the fourth biennale that is to end on March 29 next year.

The infra-projects have come up based on the idea of active public participation at the Biennale, which is to have a pavilion that encourages visitors to share thoughts. Called ‘knowledge laboratory’, it even lets them perform. Not surprising, thus, that the Biennale has individual curators for certain set of works under the exhibition with 94 artist-projects in total.

The infra-projects are Edible Archives, Sister Library, Srinagar Biennale and Subhash Singh Vyam with Durgabai Vyam. “They are a part of the Biennale, specially invited by me, but are curated by the artists of the infra-projects themselves,” says Dube.

‘Edible Archives’ as the tile suggests is a food project. Anchored by four women chefs, it has been travelling to source thousands of varieties of indigenous paddy that are inexorably being replaced by new ones. This project, coming up at Cabral Yard in Fort Kochi under curators Prima Kurien and Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar, looks at the diversity of the cereal that is Kerala’s staple diet. With the rice bowl as a focal point, this project’s chefs will serve over 15 varieties of indigenous rice, alongside locally-sourced vegetables, fish and meat.

Sister Library, curated by Mumbai-based Aqui Thami, is a travelling unit of 100 books from her collection focusing on women’s writing. The project will be accompanied by talks and discussions during its Kochi stopover — the other cities being Mumbai, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Goa. “It’s not your conventional library,” notes Aqui, originally from Darjeeling. “It is an evolving artwork that engages with the visual and reading culture of our times.”

The Srinagar Biennale is brought together by a team led by 42-year-old artist Veer Munshi who was born in Kashmir. The work comprises a large structure showcasing Kashmiri architecture and nodding towards the Sufi traditions of the region. Its members are performing at the TKM Warehouse in Mattancherry on December 13, primarily portraying their displacement following the ethnic strife in the Valley in the early 1990s.

Bhopal-based Subhash Singh Vyam and Durgabai Vyam are two Gondi Bhitti artists. At the Biennale, they will narrate a folktale while also displaying their paintings on wood. The project essays the evolution of the earth and nature from the primitive stages of life.