Students Biennale – Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014

December 2014 – March 2015 at Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi.

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The Students Biennale as part of The Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 is a unique curated event to showcase student artists from across India.

Students Biennial is akin to contour maps of topography of Indian art colleges.  With the given curatorial configurations in the exhibition, one can read the varied art practices and gradients of institutional histories.

I was working with final year students of two colleges: Patna College of Arts and Crafts and Department of Fine Arts, Jamia Milia Islamia

Curatorial Framework (250 words)

The exhibition created curatorial interventions through semi fictional textual accounts. These texts emerged out of conversations, incidents and encounters of the past and present. The texts are mnemonic hauntings that activate the phantom of the institution.

In my visits to the colleges, I comprehended that the works of the students are not merely created by an individual but in many cases, are a testimony of the practices and culture of the art college. As an active site of production, the teachers, its location, the socio-political climate and the alumni shape these educational institutions over the years.

The textual narrative is weaved with the works of current students. The selected works enrich the curatorial narrative by providing representations and applications of different artistic positions in an institution. As the texts allow multiple meanings to emerge, the works too allow for contemplative diverse meanings and their possible connections to the texts. The texts and works can then be read to rely on each other to maximise the aesthetic experience or the texts can be read as poetic personal interpretations of works.

Overall, the project is a reflection through texts, images, videos, painting and sculpture, on a few moments of the two art colleges. These fleeting moments could illustrate the colleges as a parochial unit, guardian of disciplines, advocator of skill, preserver of tradition, exponent of ideology or testament to history.

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For More information on the Students Biennale: http://kochimuzirisbiennale.org/students-biennale/

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