Biennale spaces equips visitors for extra sensory experiences: Gauri Shinde

Kochi: In addition to the exhibited artworks, renowned filmmaker Gauri Shinde said the spaces of the ongoing third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) are in themselves extra-sensory experiences for visitors.

“It is not just watching the art, but also having all your senses involved with the works exhibited. The venue itself equips us to perceive these special things. It may not have been a conscious decision by the artist or curator to communicate this, but you are still receiving the experience that way,” said Shinde, who directed the films Dear Zindagi and English Vinglish.

Noting that the judicious use of space in Aspinwall House and the positioning of the artworks allow visitors to integrate themselves into the experience, she added, “Our observation power somehow just increases 100 to 200 per cent. It is not just art lovers that can perceive the difference, but rather everyone from the connoisseur to the casual visitor.”

Following a tour of Aspinwall House, the Biennale’s primary venue, on Friday, Shinde said visiting South Asia’s biggest contemporary art festival had been an eye-opening experience.

“This was a primary item on my bucket list. I haven’t seen anything like this in India and it actually reminds me of the standards at international art events and museums. The whole experience is very unique,” Shinde said.

She marked for special mention Mexican litterateur Valerie Mejer Caso’s multi-media installation ‘Untameable Light’ and the ‘Defile’ installation by Russian artist collective AES+F.

“These are works that demand your complete attention. Valerie’s multimedia installation is of that kind, while ‘Defile’ really hits you. It signifies how superficial these designer fashion and ideas of glamour are. It is a confluence of decay, death and superficial life,” she said.

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