Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016

The Biennale started on 12/12/16, and during that time I was working in Gujarat. Photos and videos of the events were all over the media and i was curiously waiting to visit. I left for Nepal during the Christmas holidays and came back home on the first week of January. The very next day i left for Fort Kochi.

The streets of Kochi are so familiar to me from my previous visits. The wind was blowing as I entered the Boat to Fort Kochi from Eranakulam Boat Jetty, I felt it welcomed me back. I had my breakfast from Sultan’s restaurant, outside the Boat Jetty and walked towards Aspinwall House.


The whole mood created a kind of confusion and struggle, which depicted the life of exiled or disappeared poets


The walls and streets were all painted and covered in Graffiti, almost all the space was filled with art, so soothing for my eyes. I walked past Pepper House and few other art galleries. I could see the top of a huge auditorium in Cabral Yard, I was excited, and bought ticket from the entrance.

A huge pyramid awaited just ahead the gate of Aspinwall house. The Pyramid of Exiled Poets, by Aleš Šteger a Slovenian writer-artist. It played the recordings of 10 exciled poets from around the globe. Inside the pyramid, its dark, hot and the pathway was like a maze. I could listen to the whispers of the dead poets talking in strange languages. I was hopelessly wandering to find the exit since it was all dark inside the pyramid. This whole mood created a kind of confusion and struggle, which depicted the life of exiled or disappeared poets.


The Biennale had transformed into a stage for all sorts of art animation and visual arts


The structure was made out of cow dung, a material which is readily available and natural. This pyramid had reference to the pyramid of Giza, but not something glittering and built to last. A pyramid made of cow dung and wood which wont last the first monsoon shower. I moved past the pyramid exploring the art on display.

There were a lot of video recordings and projected movies in this 2016 edition of Biennale, i should say almost double the amount compared to last 2014 edition of Biennale. The Biennale which was more of sculptures, paintings and inanimate structures had transformed into a stage for all sorts of art animation and visual arts also found a space here in Kochi, it was all a feast to my eyes. I spend t time watching movies and other exhibits inside Aspinwall House.


I missed many events, exhibits and felt like i should visit Biennale again. A single day was not enough for me


I then moved to the second venue,David Hall, a Dutch bungalow built around 1695 by the Dutch East India Company and it is named after David Koder, a Jewish business man who resided there with his family. Then I went to Cabral Yard, a property that got its name from Portuguese navigator Cabral, who made the first shipment of merchandise from Cochin in 1500 AD. There was a huge theater here with different shows in the evenings.

After having a coffee and some snacks i went to the third venue Pepper House, which is a waterfront heritage property located on the Kalvathi Road. It is having a small cafe, a library and a store which sells handicrafts and clothes. I then walked to the other end of Fort Kochi to visit Kashi Art gallery. It was getting dark and i wanted to return, i took a boat to Eranakulam. The Darbar Hall, which is another venue of Biennale, is close to the Boat Jetty so, i gave it a visit and boarded an overnight train home from Eranakulam South Railway station.

I missed many events, exhibits and felt like i should visit Biennale again. A single day was not enough for me. So I returned few more times spending almost 8 or 9 days in Fort Kochi, forgetting myself and becoming a part of it, enjoying the art and going through the emotions.

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