India’s first festival of international contemporary art, the Kochi Muziris-Biennale, is taking place from December 12, 2012 to March 13, 2013 in spaces across Kochi, Muziris and surrounding islands in the region of Kerala. The Biennale endeavours to create a cultural impact both locally and globally, bringing international artists to India and providing a worldwide platform for Indian artists. Indian and other artists will showcase contemporary visual art mediums in existing galleries and halls, and site-specific installations in public spaces, heritage buildings and disused structures. Over 80 artists from over 35 countries have been selected to participate in the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012.
In the next three months, the Biennale’s exhibition will be accompanied by a rich programme of talks, seminars, screenings, music, workshops and educational activities for school children and students of all ages. Co-founded and co-curated by two of India’s leading artists, Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu, the Biennale is designed to create a platform to introduce contemporary visual art to India as well as to enable a dialogue among international and Indian artists and the widest possible public. Alongside the development of visual arts in India, a key aim of the Kochi Biennale Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for regeneration and urban development.
In the spirit of initiatives such as the BMW Guggenheim Lab, open since December 9, 2012 in Mumbai, BMW enlarges its cultural engagement in projects addressing issues for urban life. In collaboration with leading Indian and international architects, urban planners and artists, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in partnership with BMW, will commission and produce a series of filmed interviews exploring the topics and challenges facing urbanism in India and other developing regions. This partnership initiative will be an important element of the Kochi Biennale Foundation’s research program and develop the large-scale cultural project’s theme of ‘cosmopolitanism and inclusiveness’. All interviews and discussions will be filmed and screened at a symposium as part of the closing week programme in March 2013. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale will then take place every two years in Kochi and Muziris, India.