This was the second Kochi Muziris Biennale that we were visiting. This art festival is held every two years in the old Cochin island and attracts artists from all over the country and the world. We had the joy of visiting this 2016 version, while two years earlier we had visited the 2014 Biennale. My post on that will be uploaded as a sequel to this one.
The installations were spread over 12 sites and would have taken us at least a week to cover a large part of it. With just one day on hand we chosen the most densely populated/installed site, the Aspinwall House along the backwaters of the Fort Cochin, Vypin Jetty.
The dominant theme of the artists imagination as we noted in the installations we saw was of disruptions, dissonance, chaos, instability and confusion in society.
The most exciting installation we visited was of the Slovenian poet, essayist, novelist Ales Steger called the Pyramid of the Exiled Poets. It was a huge pyramid structure made of mud and cow dung. You are invited to walk through the pyramid, and as you enter the dark space waiting for your eyes to adjust, you hear strange tongues. Behind thatched wall, are the muted voices of the exiled poets. It was a nerve racking experience as you turn corners and hear weird voices. It reminded me of the more recent exiled poetess, Taslima from Bangladesh. Perhaps this is how one feels.