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Biennials are booming, with more than three hundred of these events on contemporary art all around the world every two years. Is this inflation or innovation? The Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kerala is one of the most successful of its kind. It was founded in 2012 as the first biennale in India devoted to contemporary art. It is organised entirely by artists and sees itself as a festival that opens up the borders to many different arts. Cinema, concerts, performances and theatre are all equal partners here.
The success of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is in its radical reference to its location. Kochi is an old harbour town on the Malabar coast, with a long history. During the colonial period, a large part of the Indian spice trade came through Kochi, first in the hands of the Portuguese, and later the Dutch and the English. The additional name of Muziris can be traced back to late antiquity, when the harbour and the city of Muziris were a trade nexus within the Roman Empire.
This place has been shaped by diverse encounters, which is also a central theme of many of the artistic positions that are presented here in revitalised colonial buildings, at the harbour or in public spaces. The Kochi-Muziris Biennial sees itself as an event for local people from the city and its surroundings.
Biennials are social catalysators, this is how we understand sustainability (Shwetal A. Patel, co-founder of the Biennale)
What is it that makes this site-specific approach special? A conversation between Dr. Shwetal A. Patel, author, scientist and founder member of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, and Dr. Melanie Vietmeier, expert at the ifa research programme and author of the ifa study Biennials as Gauges .
This talk is in English and takes place within the anniversary of 50 years ifa Gallery Stuttgart.
Limited space due to COVID-19 situation.
50 years ifa Gallery Stuttgart
ifa Gallery Stuttgart
Tuesday – Sunday: 12.00 – 18.00 during exhibition periods
Closed on Monday and on 17.9.2021.
Information related to the Corona pandemic
The ifa Gallery Stuttgart is open since 1 June. Current distance and hygiene standards apply. Registration not necessary. The Gallery opening is subject to any revision of Corona protection measures issued by the state of Baden-Württemberg.
The ifa Galleries show the visual arts, architecture and design of a globalized world. They have been addressing contemporary art and current cultural and socio-political developments in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe since 1971 in Stuttgart and since 1990 in Berlin. Exhibition series afford insight into art scenes all over the world and reach across national borders. Conversations, lectures and discussions allow visitors direct contact with artists and curators.