The Kochi-Muziris Biennale, which has redefined the visual experiences of Kerala, will have its third edition on the floors Monday.
The art extravaganza, claimed to be the largest celebration of contemporary art in South Asia, will this time feature creative works by 97 artists, cutting across genres, disciplines and and styles.
Titled 'Forming in the pupil of an eye', the event will open on December 12 and run for 108 days till March 29.
The artists chosen for the third edition include writers, dancers, poets, musicians and theatre practitioners along with a host of visual artists from 36 countries.
In keeping with the artistic vision of its curator, eminent artist Sudarshan Shetty, KMB 2016 seeks to question the labels attributed to and blur the lines between various modes of artistic expression. There are 36 Indian artists participating in the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016.
Shetty's core curatorial question explores what tradition means and aims to explore it not as a stagnant thought but as something that is dynamic.
"I want to explore tradition as a motif in this edition of the Biennale. We often talk about 'tradition' or 'traditions', and through my curation, I have aimed to address it from a fresh perspective - not as a stagnant or historical thought, but as an active concept integrated within contemporary reality.
"Traditions develop over time within the context of a changing yet continuous community. The idea of community and social engagement is deeply embedded within the curation," Shetty said.
KMB will also "question and blur the boundaries that categorise the various disciplines of artistic expression" through display and performance of selected artworks.
The tone had been set as early as last year with the announcement of iconic Chilean poet-revolutionary Raul Zurita as the Biennale's 'first artist'. It will also feature works by visual artists, poets, musicians and performance professionals from across India and abroad including France, Russia, Turkey, Germany, Poland Slovenia, Australia, Mexico, USA, Japan, Argentina, Pakistan, Spain and Hungary.
KMB 2016 will feature works by master cartoonist E P Unny, eminent Malayalam litterateur Anand, renowned graphic artist Orijit Sen, stage performances by Anamika Haksar and Kalakshetra Manipur, Sangam poetry recitals, dance performances and printmaking, among other artistic media.
"The final list of artists is but a sampling of the richness and range to be found along the art spectrum. The coming together of, and the conversations between, their diverse approaches, sensibilities, practices, creations and performances as they unfold in Kochi will showcase to the world what the 'People's Biennale' is all about," Shetty said.
The main exhibition will be supported by ancillary programme of talks, seminars, the Students' Biennale, the Art By Children exhibition, workshops, film screenings and music sessions.
Students' Biennale is a unique exhibitory platform for the works of over 350 young artists from 55 schools across the country and a core component in the Kochi Biennale Foundation's art education and outreach efforts.
The biennale will be held across heritage properties, public spaces, and galleries. While the primary setting in Fort Kochi will be Aspinwall House, other venues will include Pepper House, David Hall, and Durbar Hall, in Fort Kochi and Ernakulam.
(With agency inputs)