For all visitors that throng the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, there’s considerable excitement to experience the Students’ Biennale as well, which has works exhibited by 55 art schools from all over the country, curated by 15 young curators. More than 100 art works were created in collaboration, not just within a school but between students from multiple art schools, conceptualized over the last one year.
Each space within the Students’ Biennale venues exemplifies the coming together of multiple ideas and concepts that defined the curatorial frameworks of each curator. While one curator presents a museum of labor through the personal histories of art students, another builds an archive of their struggles based on gender and caste. Some question the idea of sites and spaces and how artists react to it – make shift spaces, urban spaces, or when the space itself is in transition. As some document the ‘art-institution’, the curriculum, and life of the students, the others explore the liminal spaces or what lies in between the syllabus. As they curate, they question the idea of curation itself.
The art practices of students belonging to different institutions are invariably distinct, influenced by their own local realities, which in turn are an outcome of factors arising from the prevalent socio-political conditions of their region as well as the pedagogy and cultural space offered by their institution. At the Biennale, all participating students are united in this process of enquiry as they challenge the status-quo of their educational methods, deal with multiple political and natural crises affecting art institutions of the country, or question the role of the artist in society.
As you navigate through the different sections of the Student’s Biennale, feel this overwhelming energy as you witness the result of these collaborations. Read more about the curators, the curatorial note, and participating colleges here. To help you find your way and make sense of the many, many artworks – follow Students’ Biennale on Facebook and Instagram.