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Curator at her best

Published : May 15, 2019, 12:22 am IST
Updated : May 15, 2019, 12:22 am IST

Singapore-based Indian artist Shubigi Rao has been chosen to curate presitigious Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020.

Singapore-based Indian artist Shubigi Rao
 Singapore-based Indian artist Shubigi Rao

Singapore-based Indian-origin artist and writer Shubigi Rao, a compulsive archivist and visual artist known for her complex and layered installations, has been named the curator of the fifth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale that begins on December 12, 2020.

The selection committee made the announcement at Istituto Europeo di Design, Palazzo Franchetti in Venice and decided to appoint Rao for her “exceptional acumen and inventive sensibilities” to curate the upcoming biennale. The appointment is in keeping with the tradition of an artist helming the contemporary art festival that debuted in 2012.

Mumbai-born Rao, whose work featured in the fourth edition of the KMB (2018), is also a writer and her myriad interests include archaeology, neuroscience, libraries, archival systems, histories, literature, violence, acts of cultural genocide, anti-censorship, migratory patterns, ecology and natural history.

A happy Rao said, “Biennales are sometimes floating cities that are unmoored from their locality or regionality. Kochi-Muziris Biennale is rooted in the intertwined histories and cultural multiplicities of Kochi, while providing a crucial platform for larger discourse of the critical, political, and social in artistic practices.” She added, “To shift the lens through which we read the spectacle of exhibition, we must reposition discourse and practice through acknowledging intersecting contexts. I believe it is possible for the Biennale to retain regional realities and histories through cementing existing affinities and establishing new commons.”

She was also selected for residency programmes in Singapore, Germany and India. According to Krishnamachari, co-founder of the 2010-instituted KBF, Rao is a “brilliant and original” artist.

Tags: kochi-muziris biennale (kmb), shubigi rao, kochi-muziris biennale 2020