Institution-building and the Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Foundation to participate in discussion on Biennale’s governing principles and institutional practices


New Delhi, Aug 27: The artistic, administrative and political agencies instrumental in setting up the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) will provide inside accounts of the institutional practices of India’s largest contemporary art extravaganza at an upcoming conversation here.

Titled ‘Kochi-Muziris Biennale: A Cultural Investment in Diversity’, the evening discussion will see KMB co-founder and Director of Programmes Riyas Komu in conversation with two of the Biennale’s staunchest supporters, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member M.A. Baby and Dr Venu Vasudevan, the Principal Secretary of Tourism in Kerala.

The conversation – third in the critically acclaimed Lila Prism Lecture Series, now in its fourth edition – will be held at Gulmohar Hall at the India Habitat Centre on August 30 from 7 pm.

With the third installment of India’s only Biennale set to begin on December 12, the conversation will serve as a glimpse into the ethos of what has become a bastion for the non-traditional. It is, equally, an opportunity to reflect on the institutional practices that have allowed for the initiation of a cosmopolitan dialogue between aesthetics and politics: where good art is good politics.

 “What the KMB has done in India is create an opportunity for cultural investment and a platform for celebrating diversity. We embarked on this journey because we believed the conversation and discussion surrounding contemporary art and culture must increase and be inclusive. The Kochi Biennale Foundation, the outreach programmes led by it, and the Biennale all work towards that intention. That is why we began and that is why we keep going,” Komu said.

The KMB functions not simply as a periodic event, but as a year-round concert of actions. Part of a complex network of relationships, it executes programmes that include research and artistic residencies, educational interventions and public conversations.

Its active outreach initiatives – supported by a host of corporate partners and individual patrons – operating beyond the duration of individual editions has allowed the KMB to position itself both as a model for the regeneration of the Indian cultural landscape and a platform for art and discourse to intervene in contemporary concerns

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