With exactly a month left on the 2022 edition of the Kochi Muziris Biennale, you’re probably just realising how much you want to see it. And wondering just how much time you need to see it. Well, we went in January, and since you missed us then, this piece is the closest to a tour you’ll get from us. We have a longer list of works we think you must-see, but that's another post ;)
And of course we made you lovelies a map.
If you have only 2 hours:
Skip the lines and crowds at the main venues and head to TKM Warehouse (see map above) located at the furthest corner from the main venue. Here you’ll find 4 of our absolute favourite things from this edition:
Head to TKM Ware House
Part of the Biennale's Invitation's program, the venue has 7 separate installations, and is definitely a must-see. We've picked our favs below that you must catch!
Bhumi: The outcome of a collaboration between local crafts people and artists, Bhumi comprises 3 of 4 projects made during the first lockdown in Bangladesh. Each project – the bamboo wall mounted mats, the coir figurines, and the rolls of jute fibre – was made using local techniques and materials blended collaborative artistic practices, initiated by the Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts and Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation (DBF). [The fourth was a land art project an image of which is used on their banner outside the room 🙂]
William Kentridge: This 15 mins film made to the soundtrack of Dmitri Shostakovich’s impactful music – this piece was made to commemorate the death of Stalin – William’s film weavings a mesmerising narrative that plots the rise and fall of the Communist leader, through playful, humourous stop-motion animation and puppetry.
Jitish Kallat, Covering Letter: A much talked about installation, Jitish presents here, a letter Gandhi wrote Hitler in 1939, calling for peace, ‘for the sake of humanity’. Projected on a screen of smoke, the installation and letter is chilling in its prescience, in anticipating the reduction of ‘humanity to the savage state’.
Tangled Hierarchy 2: Curated by Jitish Kallat, this show brings together visually and thematically works that deal with borders, war and displacement, through the clever juxtaposition and conversation between works from different times and places. Look out for Mona Hatoum with her ‘Hot Spot’ globe on fire, next to Zarina’s poignant ‘Abyss’, and play of illusions between the ‘Impossible Staircase’ by Sir Roger Penrose and the sound installation as you climb the stairs by Prof. Roger Shepard.
If you have only 2 Days:
Aspinwall, Pepper house and Anand Warehouse (all require tickets)
Start fresh at TKM Warehouse and wind your way back for the highlights, Kashi Hallegua House, Mocha Art Cafe, VKL, Armaan Building. (See our map for tips and directions)
If you’re intent on seeing everything:
You’re a super hero, we applaud your drive! Let us know what works/spaces we missed :)
We just had to share what we'd learnt on this visit, if there's something in particular you need, email us or drop a comment below, and we'll try and sort you out.
Some venues (see map) require a Biennale ticket to enter. Plan your trip accordingly.
We highly recommend buying the ticket online, yes it saves time and paper, but you also don’t have to keep track of it.
It’s hot, carry water, stay hydrated and dress for the weather.
Carry mosquito repellent; lots of video works (aka dark rooms) attract lots of mosquitos.
Mark your progress as you wander from room to room, helpful maps located everywhere will keep you from getting lost.
For day trips, or to cover longer distances, we recommend hiring one of the helpful autos guys that service the area. They know each of the venues and can be booked by the hour.
There are guided tours available for Aspinwall House. There, and at other venues, look for volunteers if you have questions. Most have been there since the beginning and many have worked closely with the artist(s) to install, so May possess unique insider knowledge.
We hope you enjoy this Biennale as much as we did. Let us know if you found this at all helpful
A & N