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‘Opening Week’ Performances Back by Popular Demand at Biennale

In Entertainment, Kochi
February 06, 2017

The stage, dance and music performances that dominated the ‘Opening Week’ of Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) 2016 drew, on average, 300 visitors daily. Two of these now return for encores, which will play out over the week ahead.
KMB 2016 participating artists Abhishek Hazra and Zuleikha Chaudhari bring their respective performances ‘Submergent Topologies (Episode 2)’ and ‘Auditoning the Plaintiff, Rehearsing the Witness: The Bhawal Court Case’ back to Aspinwall House.Abhishek Hazra (1)
Hazra began the second round of his mobile lecture performance today with two ‘guided tours’ around the Biennale’s primary venue, offering provocative alternate readings on the artworks in the exhibition and their relationship to the spaces they inhabit.
“I was happy to hear that my work was appreciated by the audience. We had always planned for a two-part performance. This time, the lecture tour will cover parts of the venue that were not included in the first episode. We were clear about not wanting to record the performance and screen it in a loop, which won’t allow people to really understand the intensive research and the effort that went into putting this guided tour together,” Hazra said.
Hazra’s 30-minute performance will be on twice daily, at 12 pm and 4 pm, till Friday (Feb 10) – with a break in the schedule on Wednesday (Feb 8). There will be 12 tours in all.

“There will be variations in the narrations this time around depending on the sounds and the nature and number of people I am surrounded by. My performances will evolve in relation to the changes at the Biennale,” said the Bengaluru-based artist.
Starting tomorrow (Feb 5) and continuing till Wednesday (Feb 8), two performances of theatre practitioner Chaudhuri’s stage production will be on offer in two-hour installments daily – from 10 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm – at her space in Aspinwall House.
The production is based on a famous pre-Independence court case about an alleged imposter laying claim to a vast inheritance. Both a performance and spatial piece, the show situates itself between the staged and the real. The Delhi-based artist uses original evidence from the case to examine how indistinguishable truth is from falsehood in a court audition.
“Performances are an essential part of this Biennale. Both Arun (the actor) and myself had a wonderful experience the last time. It was a privilege to perform at the Biennale. The work needs to be performed more and this second round of performances comes on the back of the positive feedback received from the last visit. People who missed out on the last set have told me they wanted to come back when the performances are on,” Chaudhuri said.
Four 30-minute performances will be packed into the two-hour slots daily with looped video and voiceover in the interim period. Following the repeat performances, a video and sound installation will remain at Aspinwall House to serve both a platform to present archival footage and document the facts of the case for visitors.