Culture Minister Shri K C Joseph announced Sudarshan Shetty as KMB 2016 curator

Programme trains unemployed youth for jobs in hospitality industry


Thiruvananthapuram, July 15: Nearly a month after a high-powered panel of artists and prominent personalities made their unanimous decision, Minister for Culture Shri K C Joseph announced one of the most innovative Indian contemporary artists, Sudarshan Shetty, as the curator of the Kochi Muziris Biennale (KMB) 2016 at a function in the capital today. The new curator continues the KMB tradition of being an exhibition curated by an artist.

“KMB has contributed to Kerala’s culture, tourism and hospitality industries and renewed India’s cultural position in the world. We will extend full support to the programme in the coming years,” said the minister at an afternoon event attended by political bigwigs and artistes from the state, including biennale founders Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu. “The new curator will be vital to furthering this site of art.”

Shetty, 54, takes over the mantle of KMB curator and artistic director from Jitish Kallat. Both are Mumbai-based artists of international renown, with Shetty’s installations and multi-media works being shown across the US and Europe. His work featured in the first KMB and he is the only Indian artist who has been commissioned to create a public sculpture in Japan.

“Through just two biennales, the KMB has acquired the role of one of the most important exhibitions globally,” said Shetty, who was at the function with his wife and daughter. “It is a privilege to be declared curator. This is early stages and my thoughts will undergo several changes, but I will be looking to the future while considering the past, in putting together the exhibition in 2016.”

KMB 14 was 108-day event, spread across eight venues, featuring 52 international and 42 Indian artists, and received nearly 5 lakh visitors.

“It is good to have a curator who has worked in various mediums and so can understand in various ways how art can capture aspects of life,” said MP Shri Shashi Tharoor. “We have overcome some of the parochial mentalities in recognising the role of KMB and people are coming from all over the country and the world to see it. So, we should strongly invest in it.”

The new curator was selected after a month-long deliberation by a panel under KBF comprising artists Amar Kanwar, Atul Dodiya, Bharti Kher and Jyothi Basu, art critic and curator Ranjit Hoskote, patron Kiran Nadar, gallerist Shireen Gandhy along with Kochi Biennale Foundation trustee Sunil V, Secretary, Riyas Komu and President, Bose Krishnamachari.

Present at today’s function were former Culture Minister Shri M A Baby, Kochi MLA Shri Dominic Presentation, Thiruvananthapuram Mayor Smt K Chandrika, Kochi Mayor Shri Tony Chammani, film makers Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shaji N Karun and Lenin Rajendran, and Planning Board Member G Vijayaraghavan, Former DGP and KBF trustee Hormiz Tharakan, ADGP R Sreelekha, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy chairman Soorya Krishnamoorthy.

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