WHAT IS IT?
Documenting India's First Contemporary Art Biennale
We have been invited to document India’s first contemporary art biennale, with unprecedented access to the event, the artists and the incredible ancient port town of Fort Kochi.
We will go behind the scenes with the biennale directors, Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu and their team through the installation process and last minute preparations , as Fort Kochi braces itself to stage India’s largest artistic event.
We will meet with the artists and the local community, and see the arrival of the visitors including some serious art world grandees as they descend on Fort Kochi for the opening week.
We will be producing a series of short films and a documentary that will be distributed far and wide, to ensure the experience of the biennale is shared with the widest possible audience, and to help secure the future of this very important event.
As India continues to mature into a socio-economic superpower, it is essential that it embraces its contemporary cultural identity and pushes the boundaries of its artistic traditions. The biennale is a pivotal moment and a timely opportunity for India to firmly assert itself on the global art map.
The films will show the true story of what it takes to pull off an event of this stature in a part of the world that lacks sufficient public art support for contemporary art. Despite a strong art market no institutions in India has bought contemporary art for over 15 years.
The continuation of the biennale is not guaranteed, so these films are imperitive to enlist ongoing support from the Indian and International community and act as a resource to inform and inspire future generations.
There is only one opportunity to document the first biennale,
please help us do it justice.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
The filming team has volunteered their time and we are looking for funding to cover production costs including kit hire, post production and local crew. We are negotiating exceptional deals on everything & fielding loads of requests for collaborations from motion graphic designers, animators, musicians and crew.
You can contribute as much or as little as you like. Every dollar counts. This is a project that will really benefit from your donations.
We have chosen Go Get Funding and the crowd funding site because they charge the smallest percentage from your donations. If Paypal doesn't work for you, please contact us via Facebook to arrange an alternative payment method.
We are very open to suggestions for other ways you can help with the project and with Kochi Muziris Biennale. Please get in touch if you have an idea you'd like to discuss.
Please spread the word of this campaign -
we need to reach beyond our own network to make this succeed.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
You will be contributing to more than just a film project, you will be helping the biennale realise its potential to become a sustainable foundation and platform for contemporary art practice in India.
We have put together some excellent incentives to try and seduce you. On top of the usuals like a regular update on how the filming is going and a great deal of appreciation. Your money could get a rickshaw named after you, a whole host of biennale merchandise, limited edition artwork or your portrait painted by a Bollywood poster sign artist. We are busily working on other exciting ideas, and will keep you posted.
You can also decide to contribute the value of the incentive to the Kochi Muziris Foundation, a charity established to provide educational programmes and cover the costs of some remarkable renovation projects in For Kochi.
WHY IS IT SO EXCITING?
“We have a long way to go. That is why I extend my full support to anyone doing something of this scale. The country of over billion doesn't have a single contemporary art museum by the government… Go to Shanghai or Beijing and you will find 30 to 40 art museums within a city.” Subodh Gupta, Artist
The biennale has invited an incredible mix of international artists. And not the usual suspects either. This is a non-commercial event so the biennale is not beholden to the whims of the art market or the restrictions or pressures of institutions.
Some of the world's most exciting, experimental and challenging artists are taking part, producing site-specific work that will blow your socks off. They have invited 80 artists to the first edition, so it is going to be very busy in the last few weeks of installation.
We will update you on the artists and their projects but for starters…..
Ernesto Neto (Brazil), Subodh Gupta (India), M.I,A (UK), Dylan Martorell (Australia), Sheela Gowda (India), Ariel Hassan (Argentina), Rigo 23 (Portugal), Jonas Staal (Netherlands), Hossein Valamanesh (Iran), Joseph Semah (Iraq), Ranbir Kaleka (India)
The Local Community
"We welcome the biennale to our community. It will bring lots of positives and boost the economy"
Everyone is hands-on in preparing Fort Kochi for the biennale, from the local mayor, Tony Chammany to the electricians wiring up the sites for the artwork. We will spend time with the local community and capture the response as their hometown is transformed into a bustling art installation.
“It is a great opportunity for the city to be able to host an international event like the biennale. The event will put Kochi on the international map as an art destination”
Cochin Mayor Tony Chammany
The biennale is taking over dozens of sites across the ancient port of Fort Kochi and its surrounding islands, including some stunning derelict colonial buildings, public spaces, old workshops and the archaeological sites of Muziris. Fort Kochi is a beautiful heritage city, surrounded by backwater canals and jungle with a very interesting cultural history of open exchange and trade with the world. The perfect city to host the biennale.
WHO ARE WE?
Producer Hattie has been working on arts and cultural documentaries for 15 years including the Emmy award winning The Mona Lisa Curse and The Genius of Design. She is beyond excited about the biennale and has managed to coerce a fantastic team to work with her.
As a Shooting-Director, Jono Clabburn makes films about The Arts, Communication, Architecture and Humanitarian Agencies. He is looking forward to capturing some of the abundant and surprising creative stories spinning around the epicentre of Kochi in Dec 2012.
The talented Ben is going to fly to Fort Kochi with Hattie and will be filming for the duration. He is a cinematographer who focuses on arts, culture & documentary and has a lot to bring to this project.
Charlotte is flying herself to Fort Kochi to help Hattie out. Charlotte has worked for the BBC making the Culture Show and other high-end arts telly. Charlotte is currently having to share Hattie's bed, so any funds to get her out and into her own, would be very much appreciated. We can get her a bed for $20 a night!
Communications supremo Tara has come on board to run this campaign and will be keeping an eye on its progress and update you all with news from the ground.
Editor Rowan is flying in from Sydney where he cuts documentaries and current affairs for the ABC and SBS as well as working on other independent cultural projects.
Arwa is going to cut the longer format documentary in the new year and will come down to Fort Kochi for a visit.
James will be overseeing the final post on the documentary. James is an incredible talent and we would never be able to afford his day rate, so are really lucky to have him on board.
MORE ON THE BIENNALE
"A new Indian biennale will make its debut in this coastal state. Last year India hosted its first pavilion at the Venice Biennale. This year the country inaugurates a biennale of its own. To be held in the south-western state of Kerala, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale will feature contemporary painting, film, sculpture, installations, new media and performances by Indian and international artists. Most of the action will unfold in the colonial city of Kochi, whose contemporary art scene already offers more than a dozen venues, from the two hundred year old David Hall-a 1695 Dutch colonial mansion-to the longstanding Kashi Art Café, a restaurant-gallery garden-cafe. To host the events, the city’s 19th century Durbar Hall and other old buildings are getting top-to-bottom face-lifts. But the most remarkable historical reclamation project is happening in the biennale’s other Kerala site, Muziris. A fabled ancient port that traded spices andsilk with Egypt and Greece two millennia ago, Muziris mysteriously vanished sometime after the fall of Rome. Archaeologists have recently located and started to excavate the vanished settlement." The New York Times, 2012
Kochi-Muziris Biennale will be India’s largest contemporary art event and will transform Kochi into a cultural and artistic hub. This landmark event will create a vibrant space and an enduring platform which will, in years to come, become one of India’s primary artistic and cultural contributions to society. Central to Kochi-Muziris Biennale’s purpose is the custodianship of a sustainable platform forcontemporary art in India.
Kochi-Muziris Biennale aims to pay homage to India’s traditions and heritage by embracing its history of poetry and performance, whilst inviting audiences to experience new cultural and artistic ideas.
The proliferation of large-scale international recurrent exhibitions of contemporary art has been an important recent transition in the contemporary art world. Intersecting new and existing networks, these exhibitions and the institutions that produce them have been responsible for reshaping the contemporary art world over the past twenty five years. Over one hundred biennial organizations operate around the globe. They often share similar objectives, practices and considerations, from curatorial and artistic strategies to political and economic agendas.