Kochi Biennale Foundation announces the first list of artists for the fifth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, beginning December 12, 2020, in Kochi, India. Curated by Singaporean artist Shubigi Rao and titled, In our Veins Flow Ink and Fire, the forthcoming exhibition “embodies the pleasure of experiencing practices of divergent sensibilities, under conditions both joyful and grim.”

Some of the artists are Ali Cherri, Arpita Singh, Cecilia Vicuña, Gabriele Goliath, Iman Issa, Joan Jonas, Martta Tuomaala, Melati Suryodarmo, and Mithra Kamalam amongst others.

Shubigi Rao stated: “The biggest challenge facing us is, of course, the unprecedented magnitude of the global pandemic, but there are always challenges to exhibition-making, especially one on the scale of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. And yet it is a creative act to think through problems, to navigate obstacles, to work with people to collectively and inventively dismantle challenges. At the very outset, I was determined to think of the Biennale as a crucible, capable of holding the diverse discourse of the critical, political, and social in artistic practices. As an artist, I’m driven by many things — the need to situate myself in this world (historically and in my current reality), my responsibilities to not just our species but to the planet, and to recognise that artistic and literary practices have the potential to strengthen existing communities and to generate new thought and action. These imperatives continue to be present in my curatorial work for the next Kochi-Muziris Biennale, and this work will, in turn, inform my praxis. Quite a few artists manage and perform multiple forms of artistic labour and production, and are often continuously reflecting and rethinking. I have to say that I see challenges as creative opportunities, and a chance for people to work differently with common cause.”

Bose Krishnamachari, Biennale director of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, declared: “As humanity combats this pandemic, I believe that art and culture will not just allow for healing, but will also create a space for togetherness. We have trust in this ability of art, and we think that the Biennale in Kochi can be a site for self-reflection and further imagination.”

The event will run for 120 days from December 12, 2020, to April 10, 2021, at various sites across the city of Kochi, India.