‘Most inclusive’ 4th edition of KMB winds up in Kochi; filmmaker Adoor lauds it

The closing ceremony of the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) was held yesterday. Renowned Indian filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan hailed the contemporary art festival as one that has become integral to Kerala society, having percolated to the sensibilities of the common people. The 108-day festival will conclude on March 29 (this evening) with a flag-lowering ceremony at Aspinwall House, the main venue of the event in Fort Kochi.

Addressing an evening gathering at Darbar Hall Ground in Ernakulam, the 77-year-old filmmaker said the host state can no more imagine its cultural future without the biennale. “This festival has only been bettering with every edition, I must say, as someone who has viewed it from inception (in 2012),” he said about South Asia’s biggest event of its kind.

The biennale, curated by artist Anita Dube, turned out to be the first anywhere in the world to feature women totaling more than half of its participating artists who came out with 94 projects in ten venues of the heritage city. Based on the curatorial theme of ‘Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life’, it sought to explore newer access to art practices while hosting an array of seminars, workshops, lectures, films and stage performances.

At the valedictory ceremony, Adoor said the biennale has become a place where students from various fields have been visiting. “This has become one of the top biennales in the world,” he added.

Bose Krishnamachari, president of the Kochi Biennale Foundation that is organising the festival, said the latest edition clocked a total footfall of 6.2 lakh people from across the country and abroad. “We believe that the next edition will be bigger. In fact, from 2020, the biennale will be extended up to 120 days.”

Krishnamachari, also an acclaimed artist, extended his thanks to all his team and the curator. “Without all of you, we would not have reached this successful end. Special thanks to the 2018 curator Dube. She dealt with some important subjects.”

Dube said she hoped to have delivered what she promised – of bringing out a biennale that is more inclusive.

Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran said the biennale, coming within four months of the devastating floods, helped the state regain its influx of travellers. “I… thank the biennale that has compelled tourists to visit Kerala after the floods,” he added. Sunil V, secretary of the Foundation, proposed a vote of thanks.

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