‘Biennale is bringing in an artistic revolution’: director Jayaraj

Ottaal filmmaker was among host of award-winning directors to visit KMB 2016 over past week


Kochi, Feb 05: Describing the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) as a space that offers a plurality of artistic expressions, a host of critically acclaimed filmmakers said that the Biennale is crucial to fostering a bridge between art and society.

National award winning directors Jayaraj, Kamal, Umesh Kulkarni and Kamal K.M., who visited the ongoing third edition of India’s only Biennale over the past few days, shared their thoughts on its impact on the regional and national culture-scapes.

Following a visit to KMB venue Cabral Yard to inaugurate an installation on Friday, Jayaraj explained how Biennale had widened people’s perspectives, providing them an avenue to not only observe but analyse life beyond its “peripheral realities”.

“The KMB introduced to me the idea of the installation as an art form that can lend expression to an artistic vision. Since then, I have viewed every image and visual I come across as a kind of installation. A single sculpture or installation sited in a place embeds in itself the complete socio-cultural vision of that region as well as the inner views of its inhabitants,” he said.

Besides being a platform for contemporary art, the Ottaal director noted, “the Biennale has certainly elevated the aesthetic sense of the public and also prompted people to think and understand more in detail about art. In according importance to cinema, music, arts and film school students and people from outside the art spaces, it is bringing an artistic revolution”.

For Kamal, the Biennale is a window that opens up ways of seeing. The Chairman of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy said he felt “overwhelmed” by the experiences and works on offer at KMB 2016, noting that these were “artistic responses to different issues in the world”.

“Especially Aleš Šteger’s ‘Pyramid of Exiled Poets’ and Raúl Zurita’s ‘Sea of Pain’ are very touching yet powerful creative works at a time where forces of fascism, intolerance and false nationalism are tightening the noose around democratic values the world over,” Kamal said, adding that “the Biennale acts as a medium that narrates or reflects the actual history and subverts the ‘alternative’ histories and facts bandied about by these forces”.

Renowned Marathi filmmaker Umesh Kulkari said the Biennale has expanded the space for artists from different streams to come together and work beyond their conventional practices.

“There are video installations, sound installations, movies, installations using lights, paintings, sculptures and also musical and theatre performances here. Different art practices that were once exclusive are made to blend in a same place where artists are encouraged to experiment with new mediums,” said Kulkarni, whose film Highway (2015) was screened here today.

Filmmaker Kamal K.M., who gained widespread acclaim after his debut feature I.D. (2012), said the Biennale can initiate an Indian art renaissance. “By introducing the most contemporary of art practices and art forms to a society, it has initiated a whole new thought process. The Biennale is irreplaceable in that sense,” he said.

ENDS

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