Kochi – The Queen of Arabian Sea, the gentle mistress of all spices, the comforting womb for exhausted ships, and the point of communion of various religions, races, ethnicity and languages. If you look back, there were kings, merchants, sailors, revolutionaries, communists and the ever dilapidated working class who all made this pinnacle of natural beauty their home. Kochi welcomes them all, unyielding. It is this acceptance, this wholeheartedness which makes Kochi an artist, which makes her palpable to emotion, which makes her emotionally stable and mentally exotic. There are very little places in the world today which has the necessary accredits to host an international art fest like Kochi. Her everyday life is a subtle art, her breathing’s like color on canvas.
‘Muziris Biennale’ a bi-annual international arts fest, the first of its kind to be held in India, with the 2014 edition featuring 95 artists, half of whom are foreigners is a specter which fits ever so well with the humidity, waves and winds of Kochi. Here the disoriented artistic voices unite, their dissimilar lives string together, their ideas conjoin into a rudimentary flash of fierce force, which overpowers you and leaves you gazing in awe.
The 2014 edition with the tagline ‘Whorled Explorations’ is in a way a prompt, a motivation to keep exploring the many faces of life and art, to enchant our momentary lives with something immortal. The irony is at once gripping and powerful. All over the exhibits the tagline is visible, the theme stands out eloquently. The world is waiting to be explored, and the Biennale asks you to do the same with the eyes of a child. A man once said great art is either plagiarism or revolution, and Biennale shouts for the revolution to begin! What I found in the Biennale was a complete sensual completion where every last of your senses – visual, auditory, odour, touch and taste blend with the deeper sense of intellect and imagination to bring out a resultant emotional and mental completion. You don’t just watch the Biennale, rather you exist with it, and you don’t just exist with it, you live inside the minds of the artist, become part of the art, all for to become immortal.
‘Powers of 10’ by Charles and Ray Eames, minimalist poems by Aram Saroyan, ‘Undercurrent’ by Mona Hatoum, charcoal drawings by Madhusudhanan, ‘922 Rice Corns’ by Yand Zhengzhong, ‘The Distance of a Day’ by David Horwitz, ‘Harbinger’ by Sahaj Rahal, ‘Background Story’ by Xu Bing, drawings of Artist Namboodiri, a lively documentary by Mithu Sen, ‘Iceboat’ by Neha Choksi, ‘In Between the Pages’ by Sumakshi Singh, charcoal art by Daniel Boyd, ‘We are All Astronauts’ by Julian Charriere, ‘NO, IT IS’ by William Kentridge and ‘Silence and its Reflections’ by Hema Upadhyay are works that should not be missed if you are a living human being. It is true that you need not be an artist to enjoy an art; you just need to have a furious mind. One would certainly be compelled to be furious in thoughts after the Biennale, which I can assure. What makes Biennale more captivating is the works that go with it, the graffiti, street art, murals, wall paintings, the Arabian sea, the Chinese nets, the sound of waves and the kiss of winds. Everything is art, everything is alive!
Biennale is a must see for all humanity, it is an event which makes us human beings, which makes us think, which makes us co-exist in peace, which erases differences and create an unyielding unity, pretty much like the Queen, very alike to her commanding sea.
My walks to self realization continues, but from today it shall take a new perception a new motive, a destination with borders painted in all seven colours, a distant canvas which persuades me to keep going and paint my own work of art!