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Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020: Artist Shubigi Rao to curate fifth edition of art festival

Artist and writer Shubigi Rao has been appointed as the curator for the fifth edition of one of Asia's celebrated art festivals, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, set to kick off on 12 December, 2020. The announcement naming the Singapore-based visual artist, known for her particularly layered installations, was made on 9 May, 2019 at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Venice, the city that hosted the world's first biennale in 1895.

 Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020: Artist Shubigi Rao to curate fifth edition of art festival

Artist Shubigi Rao, curator of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020. Image courtesy: Kathrin Leisch

The Indian-origin artist has previously showcased her installations at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale during its 2018 edition. Her focus has been on ideas including archaeology, libraries and literature and since 2014 she has been visiting public and private collections, libraries and archives across the world for Pulp: A Short Biography of the Banished Book, a decade-long film, book and visual art project about the history of book destruction.

On being appointed as curator for an event that has garnered praise for its inclusiveness, Rao said,  “Biennales are sometimes floating cities that are unmoored from their locality/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.”

With Rao's appointment, the festival that debuted in 2012, has kept up with its tradition of naming an artist to head the event. She was selected by a committee comprising artist Amrita Jhaveri, curator Tasneem Mehta and Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) trustees Alex Kuruvilla, Bose Krishnamachari and V Sunil, among others.

Krishnamachari noted, "Responding to the Foundation’s interest in selecting a young curator with varied interests, the selection committee chose Rao for her exceptional talent."

Rao has previously participated in the 10th Taipei Biennial (2016), 3rd Pune Biennale (2017) and the 2nd Singapore Biennale (2008), to name a few, and some of her notable exhibitions include The Wood for the Trees (2018), Written in the Margins (2017), The Retrospectacle of S. Raoul (2013), and Useful Fictions (2013).

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Updated Date: May 10, 2019 16:13:30 IST