Kathmandu Triennale 2017
The City, My Studio / The City, My Life
24 March – 9 April 2017
The Siddhartha Arts Foundation (SAF) at Kathmandu in Nepal announces the inaugural edition of the Kathmandu Triennale, which will open on March 24, 2017. The Kathmandu Triennale (KT 2017) builds on the successes of past editions of the Kathmandu International Art Festival in 2009 and 2012, which were on the themes of Status of Women and Earth | Body | Mind respectively.
The 2017 Kathmandu Triennale will be curated by Philippe Van Cauteren, artistic director of S.M.A.K. at Ghent in Belgium. The exhibition My City, My Studio / My City, My Life will host more than 50 artists from about 25 countries.
The theme of the Triennale will be a catalyst for a contemporary reflection on the relationship between art, the city and its heritage and is dedicated to the people who lost their lives in the Great Earthquakes of 2015.
Artists will be invited to create newly commissioned works for the specific contexts of the different exhibition venues spread around the city of Kathmandu. In addition to the exhibition, the Triennale will also host a series of encounters, workshops, masterclasses and outreach programmes. The Indian curator Veerangana Kumari Solanki Jamwal will be responsible for an international colloquium.
The Siddhartha Arts Foundation takes pride in announcing that Francis Alÿs has consented to be the Patron Artist for the inaugural edition of the Kathmandu Triennale.
Concept Note by Philippe Van Cauteren
KT 2017 will take the city as a starting point. Art, contemporary art to be specific, has mostly developed and prospered in urban surroundings worldwide. The city as a dense microcosm, which embraces all aspects of life is a source of inspiration, or a context influencing processes for many generations of artists. New York, London, Lagos, Rio De Janeiro, Beijing, Johannesburg, Delhi and Moscow are just a number of cities where art prospered and art history has been written. Kathmandu belongs to this list of cities where art has thrived for countless years.
The title of the exhibition “The City, My Studio / The City, My Life” clearly articulates the two functions that the city can have for an artist. Kathmandu (or any other city) as a working place, as the mold for artistic thinking and process. At the same time, it is a place where artists (and everyone else) try to organize their lives. The city is an arena where daily life is ‘performed’ in its richness and complexity. The city is a complex of neural connections, as a set of never lowering and superposition of synchronous interactions.
Invited artists are not to illustrate this definition of the city or urban life, but instead to take the city as a catalyst–as a laboratory to generate artistic forms, gestures, acts, ideas, art works. The city has to be considered as a place to work from, a context which motivates and inspires the art work.
The city is much like a container in which, through random ways, direct and indirect, history, habits and traditions are preserved. The socio-cultural texture of the place; colors and odors; the past, the present and the future; stories’ facts and fiction—all of it activated in the same. The artist thus will aim to be an urban archaeologist who digs from the city these elements, which can serve as core threads in their artistic practice.
In the exhibition “The City, My Studio / The City, My Life” Kathmandu serves as a unique and marvelous hub where encounters are generated between artists from Nepal and around the world. At the same time the exhibition serves as a meeting point between artists and the audiences.
An exhibition is namely a tool (for transformation) and an instrument, which generates meaning, and that which serves, in its spatial articulation, to make the predefined artwork to become ‘elastic.’ “The City, My Studio / The City, My Life” is an invitation to embrace differences, to embrace idiosyncratic artistic practices of the highest qualities that will enter in a dialogue and generate a ‘composition’ which will be a tribute to art and its vital role in society. Artists are the compass as they show these directions that no one else reflects.
“The City, My Studio / The City, My Life” is dedicated to the victims of the earthquake of April 25 and May 12, 2015.