Chevening adopts Kochi Biennale as topic of study

Dated: December 02, 2014

Kochi, Dec 2: The Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) has become a major subject for this year’s prestigious Chevening Clore Leadership Programme for senior professionals in global cultural management.

The participation of a large number of artists from across the world and the thought-provoking venues of India’s first biennale have made Meena Vari, an Indian arts teacher selected for the British cultural leadership programme, choose the contemporary art event the topic of her study.

Students from the prominent art school Central St. Martin’s, London, and the Bangalore-based Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology will conduct the online study, conceived by Vari under a project called ‘Global Art Spaces’.

As many as 16 senior students of the Srishti School have already arrived at the Biennale venues to pursue the project, which is conducted in collaboration with Britain’s foremost art institution, the Tate, UK.

While the students of Srishti College will study the KMB, their counterparts at the Central St Martin’s will work with the Tate, UK. The students of both the institutions will then discuss their studies guided by two project leaders from India and the UK.

“The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an ideal space to work with because there are so many artists from around the world coming to participate in the event in locations decided by them,” says Vari, Dean, Contemporary Art and Curatorial Practice at the 1996-founded Srishti School.

At the biennale venues in Kochi, the Srishti School students are spending their time documenting space and talking to artists and workers involved in mounting the installations about their experiences. They are also talking to the common people to understand what they think about the contemporary art event in their town.

The project was conceived by Ms Vari during her Chevening Clore Leadership Programme fellowship in London. Under the project by students of Srishti School and Central Saint Martin’s in partnership with Tate, UK, artists and students create ideas to share and pass them on for further discussion.

“The idea is to respond to these ideas and create a snowballing effect,” says Vari. The project is also part of the Tate BP Art Exchange programme, led by Michelle Williams Gamaker in London and Meera Curam in India.

“This is a great exchange of ideas,” says Riyas Komu, the Co-Founder of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. “Kochi has been a model among all biennales, having made its legacy by walking into the people. So, it is an appropriate place for students to fuel their ideas.”

“The project has an important value because it brings students back to the idea that you are collecting, documenting and processing views and ideas,” says Sunanda Mukhopadhyay, Programme Coordinator of the Biennale.

The study by the students will culminate in an exhibition, which will be shown in Bangalore, London, and at the Biennale in Kochi in February next year.

(Source: MD Niche/KMB Release)

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