I read this quote online by A.D. Posey, which says, “There is magic in the old and magic in the new; the trick is to successfully combine the two.” And when it comes to art and its years of expressing changes depending on its time, I had always felt these different progressions could never stand hand in hand, unlike what Posey says; that is before I became aware of the Kochi - Muziris Biennale.
This art festival which came into being in 2012, showed me how the contemporary spirit converges into the mythical past. The foundation behind this art extravaganza aims to develop a language of cosmopolitanism and modernity based on the reality of this former trading port.
The art installations, paintings, sculptures and every other expression of art is a haven for art fanatics, that from the words of this year's curator (Shubigi Rao) “speak of her desire for liberation and comradeship where the possibilities for a non-alienated life could spill into a politics of friendship. Where pleasure and pedagogy could sit together and share a drink, and where we could dance and sing and celebrate a dream together”.
When walking through this biggest contemporary art festival in Asia, you will be transported to the ancient port of Muziris, the fabled predecessor of this urban metropolis. Indian culture and heritage that brings individuals from all over the globe, can be seen hidden within the art portrayed at the Biennale.
The words of all the artists that I have read, whether from printed or digital speak of this solidarity when it comes to showcasing art. It is one of the biggest lessons these artists have taught me, the sense of bringing together years of questions answered through art to put forward purpose and proof that art never dies, it only transforms into something new.
I remember the various art festivals I attended and how I was always transported to another world when there. Each art piece and its journey through the years from its inception in the artist's mind is an experience that I find enthralling enough to lose myself in. The idiosyncratic way individual pieces of art tell a story, so unique to each person has always brought forth admiration in me.
Circa, in a way, portrays the same togetherness and uniqueness of art's history in a novel way to a society that is losing touch with its roots. And with the rise in moments of art like this, the aesthete in me is in perpetual love…..
Image Credits: kochibiennale