Words transformed into art’ impress well-known writers at Biennale

Kochi, Feb 7: When a litterateur steps into the ongoing third edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), acclaimed writer Benyamin observed, it is to be expected that the person would be more curious about literature-based installations coming into a space seemingly for visual art.

Following a visit to Aspinwall House on Monday, the author of celebrated novel Aadujeevitham (‘Goat Days’) was impressed by the “unique experiences” at the Biennale – especially the poetry and text-based art brought to KMB 2016 by curator Sudarshan Shetty 

“Breaking with the conventional format of novel reading, the Biennale has painted Sergio Chejfec’s novel Baroni novel on walls. We have to stretch our imagination as well as curiosity to go through the pages of the novel, which are scattered in different parts of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry,” said Benyamin, who has been to all three KMB editions.

What has made KMB 2016 different, he added, is the transformation of the written word into unique formats, making the 108-day-long fiesta a place of wonder that cannot be described, only experienced.

“Even Raúl Zurita’s installation ‘Sea of Pain’ gave a unique experience. We cannot feel these art forms just with our eyes, but experience it with all our senses. These works are conversing with each other and with visitors, sending out silent, but strong messages on the political, environmental and even marginal aspects prevalent in today’s world,” Benyamin said.

Other prolific authors who made recent visits to the Biennale said as much.

“KMB 2016 is a collage of drawings, colours, literature and technology. It is wonderful to see the works of art sharing space at the Biennale, irrespective of their form or style. The spirit of inclusivity in Sudarshan Shetty’s curatorial vision is to be commended,” said K.R. Meera, Kendra Sahitya Akademi winner and author of the novel Aarachar (Executioner).

On her second visit to the Biennale, Meera marked the artworks of Chitrovanu Majumdar, Caroline Dutchalet and Remen Chopra for special mention.

Noted author Somasekharan noted that spaces like the Biennale as well as literary and film festivals are providing a parallel platform for initiating a dialogue. “These spaces are becoming more secular with the healthy participation of youth. The Biennale is a place for works of magic, wonder and madness,” he said.  


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