December 15, 2014

Keeping it Local at the Kochi Muziris Biennale

by Amishi Parekh

We are just coming off a weekend that saw a flurry of events all over the country. In the North, there was Magnetic Fields and the UnBox Festival; in the West, Mumbai played host to Bonobo. Most notably, down in the South, the much-anticipated Kochi Muziris Biennale (or KMB) kicked off with a series of exhibitions, cultural events, curator walks and tours spread out over Fort Kochi and Mattancheri.

Whorled Explorations


Founded by Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu, the second edition of KMB has been curated by the Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kallat. With a list of international and Indian artists that includes Francesco Clemente, Anish Kapoor, Bharti Kher, Dayanita Singh, Gigi Scaria and many more, for the next 108 days, the normally quiet town of Kochi will become an epicenter of creativity. The exhaustive programme includes the Artist’s Cinema – a film festival, the Student’s Biennale, Children’s Biennale, regular cultural programmes that embrace traditional Keralan culture along with a host of projects running in parallel to the main festival. For a glimpse into what’s in store, check out the opening week schedule on their website.

Themed ‘Whorled Explorations’, curator Jitish Kallat notes that KMB “is conceived as a temporary observation deck hoisted at Kochi. The exhibition draws upon a wide glossary of signs from this legendary maritime gateway to bring together sensory and conceptual propositions that map our world referencing history, geography, cosmology, time, space, dreams and myths.”

  Chenda Melam - Poster 1  Cultural Programmes - Poster 2

A series of Biennale posters began to pop up in the last few weeks on our feed, and we decided to find out who was behind them. Our search led us to the Local Network, a Kochi-based design studio who have created an entire suite of communication materials for KMB, including the typography for ‘Whorled Explorations’. We caught up with the creative team behind the visuals, to find out more.

Cultural Programmes - Poster 1

The Local Network was engaged as the communication partner for the second edition of KMB. It’s a 6-month project till 31 March 2015. Asking them how the partnership came about, they explained that, “Mr. Riyas Komu & Mr. Bose Krishnamachari, co-founders of Kochi Muziris Biennale were in the process of putting together a talent pool of designers to develop communication for the second edition. They were talking to a host of designers and our senior creatives also happened to be in the list. There were couple of rounds of discussions and we were asked to put together a core group who will focus on the project.”

Apart from the typography, Local Network have developed:
1. Short guide – A compilation of the works of 94 artists participating in the Biennale
2. Videos about KMB
3. Event Posters
4. Facebook posts

“Overall the brief was to democratise art, but in a very contemporary manner. From a thematic point of view, the brief was World is a Whorl. While developing creatives for the various programmes, our creative team found common ground in the repetition of a particular pattern as seen in the ‘Whorled’ aspect in different elements in our environment.”

When asked about the experience of working with a team comprised of renowned artists, they replied, “It was like presenting work to the best creative directors in the country. Very demanding but an amazing journey.”

Speaking to Paul Philip at Local Network, their enthusiasm at being involved in such a prestigious and unique event was instantly palpable. It’s always great to see such local collaborations taking place. Was there a deliberate attempt to include local people when developing KMB? “Yes. Through the campaign – It’s Our Biennale, we were aiming to bridge the intellectual divide, instill a sense of pride and make it part of the cultural fabric. We achieved this by showcasing homogeneous and heterogeneous groups of people in the posters.”

The Curatorial Note acknowledges Kochi’s vibrant history as a busy port, visited by navigators in search of spices and wealth, and its role in the Kerala school of Astronomy and Mathematics. To this end, they thought, “Kochi might serve as an interesting site to invoke the mysterious expedition of our planet Earth, our shared dwelling hurtling through space at a dizzying velocity… a productive state of uncertainty from where we may investigate several questions about our existence, take stock of our collective conflicts and ecological footprint, even as we continue to examine our place in an ever-inflating cosmos.”

At KMB, there’s a sensitivity to Kerala culture, from the use of colour and graphic representations on the posters and incorporation of Malayalam type, that make the events more inclusive, and give the Biennale a sense of history and place. Such projects highlight creative talent, such as Local Network, that is in abundance in parts of the country beyond the typical Mumbai-Delhi-Bangalore triumvirate.

If you’re able to take a few days, or even a weekend, out of your schedule, we highly recommend making your way to Kochi, the Biennale runs until 29th March, 2015.

Credits: The Local Network, Kochi
Illustrator: Prince Antony
Creative Directors: Sreejith N, Nitin Menon, Gopakumar Raveendran
Account Management: Aabha Muralidharan, Prageeth P Menon & Mahesh Sekhar

To see more of Local Network’s work visit and their Facebook page.japan escort деньги в долг на киви как взломать почту mail если знаешь логинанонимайзер вк с музыкой и видеокак найти человека через телефон мегафонпрограмма для взлома яндекс денегпрограмма для скачивания музыки вконтакте на телефон

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