Thursday, March 21, 2013

art, kerala & communism...









a couple weeks back or so, i went down to kerala to see the kochi/muziris biennale, india's first and remarkably awesome art biennale.  a biennale, venice or the guggenheim or any for that matter, i had never attended and for both myself and shraddha, who i met down there, it was going to be a new experience.  the biennale was really truly inspiring. much of it was in ft. kochi, an old fishing village, a boat ride away from the main city of kochi (formerly cochin).  housed in old, heritage, industrial spice storage buildings from days of yore, there were brilliant installations, many inspired by the setting and many brought in from other locations.  indian artists were at the forefront, yet international, powerful pieces from global artists were also present, videos from ai weiwei, wangechi mutu, alfredo jaar, to name a few.

there were two pieces that really moved me. amar kanwar's "The Sovereign Forest" was an extremely powerful dialogue about farming, globalization, life and death (it is not pictured here).  The other rather magnificent and massively moving piece that got me right here, in my throat, above, beside, below, behind and beyond my adam's apple was the piece, "Citizen's Band" by the australian artist, Angelica Mesiti.  This little video clip that she has on vimeo doesn't really do it justice but it gives a small snippet of a semblance of the sensation of it's beauty.  I could have sat on the straw mats in the middle of that installation for hours. It was really dope.

Kerala is a great state.  I've been there twice now, first back on '06 and now in '13.  It's beautiful, but more than that, seeped in strong traditions of literacy, art, trading, religion (the oldest jewish settlement in india is in ft. kochi), and politics, including a strong attachment to communism and socialism that is visible throughout.  i hope this biennale gets put on in two years and if it does, it is most definitely worth a trip around the world to spend a few days or more basking beside the arabian sea, talking politics and art and exploring a place in this world that is truly spectacular.

from che to sunburns after a day at the beach, brief kodak moments that don't do the place, the company, the art, the beach or the weather justice. more stories from here and further to comes...

love and health to all...

9 Comments:

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This is cool!

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