Women Artists of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016

Highlighting the work of women artists in the third edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale, on International Women's Day.

By Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Kochi-Muziris Biennale

CallsKochi-Muziris Biennale

Forming in the pupil of an eye

 Sudarshan Shetty's 'Forming in the pupil of an eye' studies the intertwining of philosophical ideas within a physiological existence. It is an acknowledgement that there is something essential in the way we look at the world, which is multiple in nature. Forming in the pupil of an eye brings that multiplicity of experience together within the space of Kochi-Muziris Biennale and will perhaps spill over into the world at large. In this exhibit, we take a look at the work by women artists in KMB 2016.

random memo random 2016 random memo random 2016 by Aki SasamotoKochi-Muziris Biennale

Aki Sasamoto
Born in 1980 in Kanagawa, Japan
Lives and works in New York, USA

random memo random
Installation with performance and video documentation

Aki Sasamoto’s work is a mediation of the body and its movement through space, and explores the nuances and peculiarities of everyday life by embracing gestures that are simultaneously subtle and powerful.

random memo random 2016Kochi-Muziris Biennale

'random memo random' is a performance that highlights the implicit, tenuous, unwritten social contract entered into by an artist and audience in the context of performance, while also playing with the authority and privileged position of the archive in society.

random memo random 2016Kochi-Muziris Biennale

In the absence of the performer, these objects become traces of events that have taken place.

random memo random 2016 by Aki SasamotoKochi-Muziris Biennale

random memo random is an installation with a series of performances that involve a performer jumping out of a hole toward a suspended filing cabinet, and accompanying video documentation.

PandemicKochi-Muziris Biennale

Aleksandra Ska
Born in 1975 in Lodz, Poland
Lives and works in Poznan, Poland

Installation with galvanised steel, digital print, plexi plastic

Aleksandra Ska creates a fiction eerily close to reality, a skewed truth presented to us through narratives and layers of understood authoritative social structures and voices.

PandemicKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Pandemic' is an imagined view of humanity’s alarming reality, and its relationship with disease. It is a re-imagining of the present as slightly altered; a fictional view of the world suffering viral outbreak, not too dissimilar to disastrous pandemics through history.

PandemicKochi-Muziris Biennale

Aleksandra Ska displays her fabricated disease and our susceptibility to these dangers before the audience in a cold and clinical fashion. She treats the rhetoric and imagery of laboratory science and medicine as her source material, presenting her ‘collected’ evidence and examples in glass vitrines and describing them with a dispassionate, analytic remove.

Out of OusiaKochi-Muziris Biennale

Alicja Kwade
Born in 1979 in Katowice, Poland
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Out of Ousia
Glass, mirror, steel, concrete, stone, bronze, aluminium, wood, polyurethane

Alicja Kwade's work makes it easy to not notice what is true and what is a lie, twisting perceptions and experiences of how a body inhabits a place and moment.

Out of OusiaKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Out of Ousia' is a structure composed of an intersecting concrete wall and mirror, creating four zones each inhabited by a distinct object, with two pairs of near reflections. The distinct spaces exist next to each other, but resist being perceived together, and cannot be entered into simultaneously.

As you circle the work, your view and image of each quadrant bleeds into each other, creating a
notional parallel plane where verifiable objects and their makeshift doubles are jumbled and confused. The work becomes about the fidelity between what is being viewed and the apparent memory of that object’s other.

Composition on WaterKochi-Muziris Biennale

Anamika Haksar
Born in 1959 in New Delhi, India
Lives and works in New Delhi and Mumbai, India

Composition on Water
Theatre performance and installation

Theatre-maker Anamika Haksar’s work is socially and politically engaged, and speaks to the injustices and inequalities of the Indian subcontinent.

Composition on WaterKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Composition on Water' is an improvisational theatre and installation work that engages with memories of oppression. Using texts by Dalit writers, including Namdeo Dhasal’s Water as the foundation for the improvisation, actors experimented with audience interaction during each of their performances.

Composition on WaterKochi-Muziris Biennale

Through the subject of water, the work questions the complicity, acquiescence and indifference shown by various quarters of society against the marginalised. Here the set/installation is left within the exhibition space as a remnant and reminder of the performance.

PrimeKochi-Muziris Biennale

Camille Norment
Born in 1970 in Silver Spring, USA
Lives and works in Oslo, Norway

Sound installation composed for wooden benches, exciters, and voice

Camille Norment is preoccupied with sonic and musical phenomena, often re-purposing sound to create an aesthetic experience of music through form and space.

PrimeKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Prime' is an installation comprising a series of benches emanating looped recordings of deep, resonant voices murmuring and moaning pre-lingual compositions. The texture of the voices is akin to a humming, and originates from the African American church practice of moaning. The sound is at once gesturing to a kind of exalting orgasm, a painful groan, or a comforting meditation.

PrimeKochi-Muziris Biennale

With these sound elements, Camille Norment composes a neutral experience that focuses on the physical properties of the sound. She is not interested in evoking any particular ‘feeling’ in the audience, rather this work speaks indirectly to a connectedness of dissonant sound, voice and body.

Friday, November 3Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Caroline Duchatelet
Born in 1964 in Valenciennes, France
Lives and works in Paris and Marseille, France

Tuesday, November 3

March, 25

Caroline Duchatelet's work explores the relationship of light with landscape.

Friday, November 3Kochi-Muziris Biennale

'Tuesday, November 3' is about the passing of time, light and landscape. It depicts moments of separation, as a storm shifts across a small frame of ocean. A moment when the atmosphere congeals, comes together with pieces of water and sky to manifest shapes and colours.

As the fleeting storm softens and liquefies across the screen, shapes separate and lines of light move. Silence envelopes the work.

March, 25 by Caroline DuchateletKochi-Muziris Biennale

'March, 25' is an immersive video installation that records the dawning of a new day— the passage of the sun as it emerges from the dark and disappears again. As the light lifts, and recognition of a painting becomes clearer and clearer, you will slowly see before your eyes a picture that was painted by Fra Angelico and viewed each and every day by the monks of San Marco in Florence.

It is said that on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, the sun and the convent align, and through an easterly facing window, the sun’s rays shine through in such as way as to draw itself across and into the surface of the painting. The sun envelopes Mary bringing her into view, completing the task of the painting and realising her role as the Annunciated.

Love is my Law, Love is my FaithKochi-Muziris Biennale

Dana Awartani
Born in 1987 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Lives and works in Saudi Arabia and UK

Love is my Law, Love is my Faith
Hand embroidery on silk

Dana Awartani’s intricate, meticulously patterned art is steeped in the study of mathematics and geometry. In philosophical tandem with traditional Islamic arts, Awartani finds a universal language of beauty and harmony within the geometric structure of natural and man-made forms.

Love is my Law, Love is my FaithKochi-Muziris Biennale

Dana Awartani’s eight hanging embroideries, 'Love is my Law, Love is my Faith', are inspired by eight love poems by Ibn Arabi that describe an experience he had at the Ka’aba in Mecca.

Love is my Law, Love is my FaithKochi-Muziris Biennale

Using the practice of traditional textiles, Awartani creates genealogies of meaning that act as a form of meditation, praying, contemplation and search for the inner spirit rather than outer. Her works are a visual representation of a culturally specific time and space.

Bathroom SetKochi-Muziris Biennale

Dia Mehta Bhupal
Born in 1984 in Mumbai, India
Lives and works in Hyderabad, India

Bathroom Set
Paper and glue

Diasec print

Diasec print

Diasec print

Waiting Room
Diasec print

Dia Bhupal builds and photographs life-size sets of everyday spaces- lifeless scenes which are containers and boundaries, as well as attempts to understand the world.

Bathroom SetKochi-Muziris Biennale

The building blocks for the life-size installation of 'Bathroom Set' are collections of thousands of images from magazines and pop culture ephemera. Dia Mehta Bhupal has built her room piece by piece playing with size and scale, reality and element.

This ordinary scene of a bathroom is strange and familiar at the same time. The effect of its strange materiality flattens its three dimensional form, uniformly presenting the scene as a whole milieu of an image.

Each scrap of paper is cut, rolled and glued forming the thousands of layers that make the papier-mâché habitat.

Supermarket by Dia MehtaKochi-Muziris Biennale

Dia Mehta Bhupal’s series of photographs are an example of how our eyes distort. Her works approximate reality without being the real itself.

Bookstore by Dia MehtaKochi-Muziris Biennale

Upon first appearance, Bhupal’s photographs of a bookshop, a supermarket, an airplane and a waiting room seem to be either the work of a painter or the effect of digital rendering, which gives an otherworldly and mysterious aura to their otherwise mundane realities.

Waiting room by Dia MehtaKochi-Muziris Biennale

However these works are photographs, not of those places, but rather of three dimensional built replicas of them.

Tough dreams born – the unalterable consequence of existence by Eva MagyarosiKochi-Muziris Biennale

Éva Magyarósi
Born in 1981 in Veszprem, Hungary
Lives and works in Budapest, Hungary

Video animation

Tough dreams born – the unalterable
consequence of existence
Video series and drawing performance
evolving duration of exhibition

Eva Magyarosi's art is not only a mixture of visual art and narration, but also a manifestation of poetic visualisation and visual poetry. Her works typically tell us about the mysteries of the female soul, the body and its emotions, displaying polyphonic stories of strange dreams and lived experiences.

Lena Lena by Eva MagyarosiKochi-Muziris Biennale

Éva Magyarósi’s work is about what is visible and invisible, what happens in the transference of a thought into an artwork, what makes a thought seen and what keeps thoughts and ideas from remaining obscured.

In 'Lena', the words 'visions, sounds, inner tremblings' are repeated over and over again. The experiences of joy, love, and pain have a viscerality that enters the eye and sears an image into our minds before they recede into our forgotten world.

Tough dreams born – the unalterable consequence of existence by Eva MagyarosiKochi-Muziris Biennale

Over the duration of the Biennale, Magyarósi will create 'Tough dreams born – the unalterable consequence of existence', a series of weekly drawings, whereby a new evolving animation will develop, becoming a visible, collective exquisite corpse and unknown strange new narrative voice.

Palaces of Memory 2016Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Eva Schlegel
Born in 1960 in Austria
Lives and works in Vienna, Austria

Palaces of Memory
Installation with video, maps, window text

Floating into the Night
Steel, printed canvas, wood

Eva Schlegel's multifaceted practice encompasses photography, paintings, installations, and public projects, and are focused on themes of materiality and the ephemeral, and how the interaction of the two influences the audience’s perception of space.

Palaces of Memory 2016Kochi-Muziris Biennale

'Palaces of memory' focuses on alternative understandings of space both as an apprehension of what is outside and other to earth, as well as an ‘area’ or ‘expanse’ between objects.

'Palaces of memory' is about how we map out territory, how we create space within space, and how we quantify space.

The work includes a video that charts outer space and an installation of window text.

Floating into the Night by Eva Schlegel ( Eva Schlegel and Carl Pruscha )Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Created in collaboration by Eva Schlegel and architect Carl Pruscha, 'Floating into the night' inhabits the centre of Aspinwall’s internal garden. It is an architectural structure and an invitation to occupy, to dwell, to reflect and take breath.

The canopy of this architectural frame depicts the star system of the sky, exactly as it appears on 12 December 2016, the opening night of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016.

TracesKochi-Muziris Biennale

Gauri Gill
Born in 1970 in Chandigarh, India
Lives and works in New Delhi, India

Traces 2016
Series of archival pigment prints

Gauri Gill is a photographer whose complex practice has focused on several key themes including the marginalised communities of rural Rajasthan, human displacement and the Indian immigrant experience in America, and the manifestations of class, community, social mobility and behaviour throughout India.

TracesKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Traces' is a series of photographs that depict configurations of unpolished stones and old bricks piled by hands in the sand of the Barmer and Bikaner districts of Rajasthan.

The handmade graves belong to people with relatively few economic resources—peasants and other inhabitants of remote villages in the desert—existing lightly upon the earth. Within the mostly Muslim graves, there is also one Hindu one, gesturing toward a fallacy that the faiths are universally kept separate. This points to a more heterogeneous complexity underlying national thought and traditions.

Sourcemouth: Liquidbody 2016Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Hanna Tuulikki
Born in 1982 in Brighton, England
Lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland

Sourcemouth: Liquidbody 2016
Three-screen film and sound installation, vocal composition, choreography, visual score

Artist, composer and performer Hanna Tuulikki uses the voice to build worlds out of sound, immersive ethereal spaces that unearth primary relationships with the environment.

Sourcemouth: Liquidbody 2016Kochi-Muziris Biennale

'Sourcemouth: Liquidbody' is an audiovisual installation that features a visual-score and a suite of films incorporating choreography, vocal composition, and costume.

Learning the nadi varnana (‘river description’) from practitioner Kapila Venu, Hanna Tuulikki has adapted the traditional sequence into a performance-for-camera with three interlinked films.

Sourcemouth: Liquidbody 2016Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Her silver-painted figure traces a fluvial line that covers a river’s journey. 'Sourcemouth: Liquidbody' enacts a type of ‘water consciousness’ that is local and universal.

The Perfect Sound by Katarina ZdjelarKochi-Muziris Biennale

Katarina Zdjelar
Born in 1979 in Belgrade, Serbia
Lives and works in Rotterdam, Netherlands

The Perfect Sound
Single-channel video

Single-channel video

Katarina Zdjelar’s films critique the ways that language pigeonholes us, or reveals our status or social access.

In 'The Perfect Sound' we see a grey-haired man chanting single syllables over and over while a young man simultaneously mimics him. This is an ‘accent removal class’ for new immigrants conducted by a speech therapist in the British city of Birmingham.

'The Perfect Sound' looks at the phenomenon of cultural assimilation through the erasure of difference in pronunciation and the production of ‘neutrality’, and points to the hegemonic capacity of language.

Shoum by Katarina ZdjelarKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Shoum' starts with the pop sound of Shout by eighties pop group Tears for Fears. Over the course of the next seven minutes we see how the two Serbian men who do not speak English attempt to transcribe the lyrics of Shout.

Through deciphering and decoding, the work shows creation of languages that are copies of an original— copies or translations of reality, which force us to question what the matter and mode of speech itself are.

Will-o’-the-WispKochi-Muziris Biennale

Katrina Neiburga
Born in 1978 in Latvia
Lives and works in Latvia

Andris Eglitis
Born in 1981 in Latvia
Lives and works in Latvia

Mixed-media installation with video, audio, light, bamboo and thatch architectural structure

Katrina Neiburga is a video and installation artist who is interested in sociology, investigating preconceptions about the nature of things, emotion and the preservation of living memory. She works in collaboration with Andris Eglitis.

Will-o’-the-WispKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Will-o’-the-Wisp' is a multimedia installation in dialogue with a wealth of new age spiritual practices and world religions.

Drawing on a global architectural vernacular that includes do-it-yourself cultures, the structure incorporates local building practices and construction items as well as organic material found from the territory where it is directly built.

'Will-o’-the-Wisp' not only reminds us of what we seek when we cannot name a presence, or attempt to catch the glimpses of light that symbolise absolute truth, but also what happens when our senses disappear and our barriers to ‘experience’ as a type of unmediated and undeniable thing allow us to go deeper into ourselves.

KmissKochi-Muziris Biennale

Latifa Echakhch
Born in 1974 in El Khnansa, Morocco
Lives and works in Fully, Switzerland

Polyester satin string attached on site architecture

Echakhch’s installation and sculptural works are characterised by simple and bold gestures and materials. She interrogates themes and issues ranging from individual and cultural identity, to personal and collective histories, and sociopolitical contexts such as current international migration and humanitarian conditions

KmissKochi-Muziris Biennale

While in Morocco, Latifa Echakhch noticed little coloured satin threads appearing around the streets.

In Kochi, Echakhch re-enacted this threading of the city for 'Kmiss', wishing to reproduce the colourful residues, tracing an amity between people in Kochi and Morocco, gesturing to questions of individual and cultural identity - personal and collective histories, and sociopolitical contexts and child labour found in materials.

Echakhch becomes the caretaker in the relationship between these spaces so far apart, a guide who weaves together disparate threads into a dialogic whole.

Native Portraits n.19897 by Lisa ReihanaKochi-Muziris Biennale

Lisa Reihana
Born in 1964 in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand
Lives and works in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Native Portraits n.19897
Digital video

Focused upon the practice of photographic representation, particularly tourist imagery, and stereotypes, Lisa Reihana’s Native Portraits n.19897 translates and re-contextualises history through the aesthetic of nineteenth-century ‘cartes de visite’ from the thriving colonial New Zealand postcard industry, where Maori were a popular subject. It questions assumed historical knowledge, and how we use photography in battles of legitimacy and entitlement of territory and race.

Native Portraits n.19897 is something of a counter balance because it empowers many of its subjects, capturing Maori culture as living, diverse, and resisting its traditional depiction in the museum as primitive and static.

Kochi SuiteKochi-Muziris Biennale

Mansi Bhatt
Born in 1975 in Dhrangadhra, Gujarat
Lives and works in Mumbai

Kochi Suite
Photographic prints on pearl archival

Mansi Bhatt is a photographer and performance artist who in costume, performs an extraordinarily elaborate series of public performances or tableaus, creating scenes and vignettes for larger narratives, which are documented with photography

Kochi SuiteKochi-Muziris Biennale

Mansi Bhatt uses prosthetics and theatrical makeup to recreate images of life. She documents her immediate surroundings, people and objects, then recreates these scenes within the studio, inhabiting various roles and personas along the way. Her images are always partly real and partly fictitious, inhabiting a hazy middle world.

Bhatt’s photographs and the performances they represent are also about photography itself, highlighting how the camera reveals the faces of individuals as social masks, as ideal types, as indicative of something collective rather than individual.

Symphony of a Missing Room -An Imagined Museum by Martina Seitl ( Lundahl and Seitl )Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Martina Seitl: Born in 1979, Månsarp, Sweden
Lives and works in Stockholm and London

Christer Lundahl: Born in 1978, Ljungarum, Sweden
Lives and works in Stockholm and London

Symphony of a Missing Room -An Imagined Museum
Sightless goggles, wireless headphones with three-dimensional sound and
synchronised touch from unseen guides

'Symphony of a Missing Room - An Imagined Museum' is both a collective and personal journey through the Biennale. A guided performance tour of the Biennale, it moves from lasting to temporary, optic to haptic, static to fluid.Instead of looking at an individual work, you look at the whole, and become a participant in the configuration of the Biennale.

The Journey We Never MadeKochi-Muziris Biennale

Naiza Khan
Born in 1968 in Pakistan
Lives and works in London and Karachi

The Journey We Never Made
Installation with model boats, drawings, mixed media

Objects from the Deep
Charcoal, conte and screen prints on paper

Naiza Khan captures the day to day experience of living and working in Karachi, where everyday life is affected by natural disaster, urban migration, displacement and political struggle.

Objects from the Deep by Naiza KhanKochi-Muziris Biennale

'The Journey We Never Made' plays with an objective tourist vernacular through representing Khan's long-term engagement with the small island of Manora, which sits in Karachi harbour.

For this project, local artisans were given scale drawings of vessels sourced from Khan’s photographic archive, and images of historic vessels that have left their imprint on the Indian Ocean in their journeys of trade and conquest.

The Journey We Never MadeKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Objects from the Deep' are conceptual drawings that reflect on the sedimented nature of objects — object, material and nature, fuse and erase the differences between place and identity, becoming a site of confluence and transformation.

Practice PiecesKochi-Muziris Biennale

Nicola Durvasula
Born in 1960 in Jersey, UK
Lives and works in Walmer, UK

John Tilbury
Born in 1936 in London, UK
Lives and works in Deal, UK

Practice Pieces
Mixed stone and earthenware installation with improvisational score

Nicola Durvasula's drawings, paintings and sculptures incorporate a number of influences including Japanese calligraphy and Indian miniature sculpture as well as the traditions of musical performance, including the graphic notations of experimental composers.

Practice PiecesKochi-Muziris Biennale

For Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, Nicola Durvasula creates sculptural objects in response to John Tilbury's music scores, and the Biennale itself.

Together their work asks us to consider: How is art made in response to different environments? What does sound teach us about matter? What is the nature of collaboration and dialogue across media, fields and practitioners?

VarnamKochi-Muziris Biennale

Padmini Chettur
Born in 1970, in Mumbai
Lives and works in Chennai

Performance; installation view of 3-channel video projection

Chettur’s work departs from the classical Bharatnatyam repertoire of gestures, postures and mythical tales, to shape an alternative, no less strict, but condensed and abstract style of performance.

VarnamKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Varnam', a choreographic performance made especially for video, is reconfigured as several performances within David Hall, to then be displayed again in video format for the duration of the Biennale.

'Varnam' explores the nostalgic remains of eroticism and romantic love. In a critique of classical Indian dance, Padmini Chettur presents a new iteration of the heroine who is separated from her lover, abandoned and suffering.

Seventeen sixteenKochi-Muziris Biennale

Prabhavathi Meppayil
Born in 1965 in Bangalore
Lives and works in Bangalore

Seventeen sixteen
Copperwire embedded in gesso panel

Melting Pot
Found objects

Prabhavathi Meppayil's work is process-oriented and seeks the essence of materials and tools as well as simple forms, colours and shapes, and combines artisan practice and modernist concerns.

Seventeen sixteenKochi-Muziris Biennale

In 'Seventeen sixteen', notches of lines and found objects are embedded at intermissions that repeat and re-occur at close intervals on an immaculate gesso panel, following the shape of the support.

Lines are the motif of connection and correspond with historically minimalist principles.

Melting Pot by Prabhavati MeppayilKochi-Muziris Biennale

With 'Melting Pot', we read into the language of the artist's past, which includes a long line of artisans and craftspeople, a combination of elements that cross boundaries and reflect the concerns of the city back to us. This is through the presence of fragments of useful craft

Please, Sir…Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Rachel Maclean
Born in 1987, UK
Lives and works in Glasgow

Please, Sir...
Split-screen video, in loop

Rachel Maclean uses film and photography to create sickly, candy-coloured worlds filled with ghoulish characters, played by Maclean herself, offering a critique of our contemporary selfie-saturated culture.

Please, Sir…Kochi-Muziris Biennale

'Please, Sir...' is a morbidly comic adaptation of Mark Twain’s historical fiction, The Prince and The Pauper.

Maclean uses the jargon of capitalism and mocks it through exaggerated performance. It explores themes of greed, class and dependence as well as the cultural rhetoric of austerity and aspiration.

I see a mountain from my window, standing like an ancient sageKochi-Muziris Biennale

Remen Chopra
Born in 1980 in New Delhi
Lives and works in Mumbai

I see a mountain from my window, standing like an ancient sage
Carving on waterproof recycled wood fibre

Chopra’s mixed media practice moves between the real and the make -believe. Influenced by the history of cinema and art, the artist creates images that are dramatisations of her own experiences.

I see a mountain from my window, standing like an ancient sageKochi-Muziris Biennale

Drawing on the rich symbolism of an heirloom of a Persian carpet that has been passed from mother to daughter for four generations in her family, Chopra has created an imaginary geometric topographic landscape for this work.

'I see a mountain from my window, standing like an ancient sage' begins from a material cultural history that presents questions of lineage, feminism, locatedness and time.

I make new the song born of old by Sharmistha MohantyKochi-Muziris Biennale

Sharmistha Mohanty
Born in 1969 in Kolkata
Lives and works in Mumbai

I make new the song born of old
Installation with poem and sound

'I make new the song born of old' is a poem written for and presented within this room at Aspinwall.

As you pass through this space you can use Mohanty’s work to anchor yourself. As you read the text, think about how you sink into the room and breathe in the atmosphere, the words become space; ask what language means to you.

I am Micro by Shumona Goel and Shai HerediaKochi-Muziris Biennale

Shumona Goel
Born in 1975, Ohio, US.
Lives and works in Mumbai

Shai Heredia
Born in 1974 in Bombay
Lives and works in Bangalore

I Am Micro
35 mm (original format), digital (exhibition format), black and white, Dolby SR

'I am Micro' is an experimental essayistic film miniature that pays tribute to the medium of film, while reflecting on the gradual disappearance of Indian independent cinema

It is a film that finds resistance amidst the debris and decay of cinema. Through the use of establishing tracking shots, which reference neo-realism in their length and framing, the film presents an idea and vision of an abandoned optics factory, unused machines, detritus and debris, left alone, trapped in a moment in time.

Untameable LightKochi-Muziris Biennale

Valerie Mejer Caso
Born in 1966 in Mexico City, Mexico
Lives and works in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Untameable Light 2016
Multimedia installation

Painter and poet Valerie Mejer Caso’s work explores containment and fragility, layering loss and possibility over a once-familiar landscape.

Untameable LightKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Untamable Light' is rich with intermedia gesture—painting, photography, collage, installation, poetry, books- all of which interact and collide here in a symphonic synthesis about imagination and territoriality.

Mejer Caso posits a new world outside concepts of the nation, through language. 'Untamable light' is the unfolding of a book in exhibition form.

Untameable LightKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Untamable Light' helps us imagine what a new community might be, a poetic imaginary that crosses boundaries and refuses to accept the limits of what we take for granted. It is as much a new flag in the ground as it is a space to reflect on what we may yet become.

Ballast by Wura Natasha OgunjiKochi-Muziris Biennale

Wura-Natasha Ogunji
Born in 1970 in St.Louis, USA
Lives and Works in Lagos, Nigeria

Graphite, ink, thread, coloured pencil on trace paper

Graphite, ink, thread, coloured pencil on trace paper

Thread, ink, acrylic, graphite on trace paper

View from Atlantis
Thread, ink, graphite on trace paper

A performance and visual artist who works in a variety of mediums, Wura-Natasha Ogunji also creates videos, in which she uses her own body to explore movement and mark-making across water, land and air.

Ballast by Wura Natasha OgunjiKochi-Muziris Biennale

Wura-Natasha Ogunji’s various works for Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 have a rich complexity of visual references. At once they are domestic and worldly, fabular and factual, historical and futuristic.

Through the use of sewing, Ogunji presents the homely, craft skills of a feminine domain into a public that is Afropolitan, at once rooted in a local aesthetic that one may misascribe to ‘Nigeria’ yet which has a resonance with contemporary feminist practitioners the world over.

TaphephobiaKochi-Muziris Biennale

Yardena Kurulkar
Born in 1971 in Mumbai
Lives and works in Mumbai

Photographic series

Mixed media with large wooden cupboard covered with fresh flowers filled with porcelain nails

Dance of Death
Mixed media with light bulbs

Yardena Kurulkar focuses on the thematic of death, and the connective, illusive, ephemeral nature of what lies between it, art, and life.

TaphephobiaKochi-Muziris Biennale

In 'Taphephobia', the artist uses the historic reference of the cupboard as an allegory for rebirth.

The open cupboard signifies a release from confines, from claustrophobia and expectation, and thereby a personal victory— the victory of fear and an overwhelming feeling of being alive in the face of death's certainty.

Kenosis by Yardena KurulkarKochi-Muziris Biennale

In 'Kenosis', Kurulkar uses 3D technology to create a terracotta replica of her own heart. After submerging it in water, she captured images at regular intervals of disintegration.

Water, often associated with religious rituals, becomes a medium of personal introspection for Kurulkar in this exploration.

Dance of Death by Yardena KurulkarKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Dance of Death' creates a point of confrontation between life and death.

The bulbs mark the date the artists body came into being. Dance Macabre by Camille Saints Saens plays in the background. The lit up numbers flicker unseen, to celebrate this date and their passing time. The flickering light, which appears steady, is not visible to the human eye, due to its high ‘flicker fusion rate’, thereby making intermittent light appear constant.

As time passes, the bulbs die, the dance begins to fade away, and we are left in darkness.

CallsKochi-Muziris Biennale

Yuko Mohri
Born in 1980 in Kanagawa, Japan
Lives and works in Tokyo

Bells, fork, grass, horn, electric magnet, ribbon, cloth, coil

Oni-bi (fen fire)
Glockenspiel, solenoid, drumstick, net window, conductive strings

Yuko Mohri produces kinetic installations that attempt to convey intangible or invisible energies such as magnetism, gravity, light, and temperature, by creating assemblages of found and reconfigured everyday items, machine parts, or old tools.

Mohri is interested in random errors and bugs occurring unexpectedly in day-to-day lives that give us a glimpse of those significant phenomena that exist faintly, usually outside our minds eye.

CallsKochi-Muziris Biennale

These kinetic-sonic sculptures connect the seemingly random and draw on the Japanese belief in the return of the dead to ‘call’ on their descendants during mid-summer and New Year.

Placing each object carefully, Mohri considers the distinct features of an exhibition space, such as gravity, humidity, brightness and darkness, and breeze, arranging her items to find the hidden unique energy of a space, usually ignored.

Oni-bi (fen fire) by Yuko MohriKochi-Muziris Biennale

In 'Calls' and 'Oni-bi (fen fire)', Mohri makes the invisible, the disappeared, the unseen, visible and heard through sculptural forms that respond to the space they find themselves in.

She utilises gravity, magnetism, light and wind—contextual conditions—to animate her work, preferring this to human agency.

Auditioning the Plaintiff. Rehearsing the Witness:The Bhawal Court CaseKochi-Muziris Biennale

Zuleikha Chaudhari
Born in 1973 in Mumbai
Lives and work in New Delhi

Auditioning the Plaintiff. Rehearsing the Witness: The Bhawal Court Case
Performance and installation with archival photographs, performer, text, soundscape and 2 channel video

Zuleikha Chaudhari is a theatre director and lighting designer whoseworks shift between theatre and installation, as investigations into landscapes that are neither real nor imagined, and at the centre engages with the role of the viewer in the performative experience.

Auditioning the Plaintiff. Rehearsing the Witness:The Bhawal Court CaseKochi-Muziris Biennale

'Auditioning the Plaintiff. Rehearsing the Witness: The Bhawal Court Case' is a theatre and installation work which uses original evidence from the Bhawal court case as scripts and reference material, testimonies of witnesses as well as photographic portraits of the young Kumar, re-staged by the older plaintiff to establish likeness.

This material, which bears the burden of proving one’s self, of convincing the court that you are who you say you are and that what you say can be believed, is used as an audition text. The representation is real and staged at the same time.

Credits: Story

Curator and Artistic Director: Sudarshan Shetty
Biennale Director: Bose Krishnamachari
Director of Programmes: Riyas Komu

Text by Kelly Fliedner
Image courtesy: Kochi Biennale Foundation

Credits: All media
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