Whorled Explorations, the second edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale curated by Jitish Kallat and featuring 94 artists, will open on December 12 across eight venues in Kochi, Kerala, India.

Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014

Whorled Explorations

December 12, 2014 – March 29, 2015

Kochi Biennale Foundation
1/1903, Kunnumpuram
Fort Kochi PO
Kerala 682001

Citing two historic currents from the 14th to 17th century—the maritime explorations of the Age of Discovery and the astronomical propositions made by the Kerala School of Astronomy and Mathematics—the exhibition draws upon a wide glossary of signs from this legendary maritime gateway. The project metaphorically exaggerates the gestures we make when we try to see or understand something: We either go close or move away from it in space; we also reflect back or forth in time to understand the present. Whorled Explorations draws upon these gestures of deliberation across the axes of space and time to present artworks that interlace the bygone with the imminent and the terrestrial with the celestial.

Participating artists:
Adrian Paci / Aji V N / Akbar Padamsee / Andrew Ananda Voogel / Anish Kapoor / Annie Lai Kuen Wan / Aram Saroyan / Arun K S / Benitha Perciyal / Bharti Kher / Bijoy Jain / Biju Joze / Charles and Ray Eames / Chen Chieh-jen / Christian Waldvogel / Daniel Boyd / David Horvitz / Dayanita Singh / D​inh Q Lê / Fiona Hall / Francesco Clemente / Gigi Scaria / Guido van der Werve / Gulammohammed Sheikh / Hamra Abbas / Hans Op de Beeck / Hema Upadhyay / Hew Locke / Ho Rui An / Ho Tzu Nyen / Iqra Tanveer / Janine Antoni / Julian Charrière / K G Subramanyan / K M Vasudevan Namboodiri / Kader Attia / Katie Paterson / Khalil Rabah / Kwan Sheung Chi / Laurent Grasso / Lavanya Mani / Lindy Lee / Madhusudhanan / Manish Nai / Marie Velardi / Mark Formanek / Mark Wallinger / Martin Creed / Menika van der Poorten / Michael Najjar / Michael Stevens / Mithu Sen / Mona Hatoum / Muhanned Cader / N S Harsha / Naeem Mohaiemen / Nataraj Sharma / Navin Thomas / Navjot Altaf / Neha​ ​Choksi / Nikhil Chopra / Parvathi Nayar / Peter Rösel / Pors & Rao / Prajakta Potnis / Prashant Pandey / Pushpamala N / Rafael Lozano-Hemmer / Rajan Punalur / Raqs Media Collective / Rivane Neuenschwander / Ryota Kuwakubo / Sachin George Sebastian / Sahej Rahal / Sarnath Banerjee / Shahpour Pouyan / Shantamani Muddaiah / Shumon Ahmed / Sissel Tolaas / Sudhir Patwardhan / Sumakshi Singh / Sunoj D / Surendran Nair / Susanta Mandal / Tara Kelton / Theo Eshetu / Unnikrishnan C / Valsan Koorma Kolleri / Wendelien van Oldenborgh / William Kentridge / Wim Delvoye / Xu Bing / Yang Zhenzhong / Yoko Ono

The exhibition will be accompanied by “History Now,” a series of dialogues which will begin on 14 and 15 December with “Terra Trema,” a seminar conceptualised by Geeta Kapur.

Spanning the history of Kochi and the ancient port city, Muziris (which “disappeared” in the 14th century), the seminar pairs archaeological excavation with research on the “anthropocene.” Sessions will address cosmopolitanism of peninsular India and the hierarchies of caste and class; the region of West Asia, connected to the Malabar Coast since millennia; the issues of globalisation, war; and dispossessed Palestine. The seminar contextualises curatorial expositions of art in troubled terrain. Speakers include historians, political and cultural theorists, writers: Rajan Gurukkal, Prabhat Patnaik, Susie Tharu, N S Madhavan and curators David Elliott, Anselm Franke and Reem Fadda.

Student’s Biennale—a pilot project presenting the works of students from 35 government-run art colleges situated in 19 states in India will open on December 13.

Children’s Biennalecomprised of workshops, guided tours and other initiatives meant to engage young learners of different age groups and needs will open on December 14.

Artists’ Cinema—a 100-day public event showcasing films, documentaries and video art will open on  December 14. It will be curated by a team that includes Amar Kanwar, Amrit Gangar, Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Bina Paul Venugopal and C S Venkiteswaran.

A number of collateral events will also open alongside the biennale. For more information on programmes, please visit kochimuzirisbiennale.org/calendar.

Image: Julian Charrière, We Are All Astronauts, 2013. 13 found globes made of glass, plastic, paper and wood. Steel base with MDF board, dust from globes’ surface and international mineral sandpaper. Photo: Martin Agryroglo. Courtesy Julian Charrière.