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Art festival merits government support: K C Joseph

Art festival merits government support: K C Joseph

Kochi: The Kerala government is convinced about the need for providing financial support to the Kochi- Muziris Biennale, State Culture Minister K C Joseph said Sunday.

The next meeting of the state cabinet will decide on giving grant to the ongoing festival which is the first of its kind in the country, he said after a visit to Aspinwall House, the main venue, at Fort Kochi.

The earlier decision was not to give any further monetary support to the biennale, but the perception is changing given the wide benefits that the three-month contemporary art extravaganza has been lending to the fields of culture and economy, the minister said.

"Let the criticism against the festival continue on one side. That would not influence the government's plans for financial grant," he told reporters. "The biennale is a big event. It requires far more time to grasp and enjoy it in detail. I could only make a whirlwind round."

As for protest against the biennale having become a ticketed event (since Dec 23), Joseph said even the just- concluded International Theatre Festival of Kerala at Thrissur invited flak for introducing the 'pass system.'

"This, when that event featured world-class plays. I wonder why people who wouldn't mind going for a film for Rs 100 a ticket have reservations about spending money to enter other cultural venues," he said.

Artist Bose Krishnamachari, who is a co-curator of the biennale, explained to Joseph about the exhibits.

At a lecture in the evening, renowned media person Sashi Kumar said digitisation has been a boon as well as bane for new-age art.

"If you take cyber media, it is more broad than deep. The popular words in the area, such as surfing and scanning, itself are proof enough," he noted in the talk on 'Art in the Age of Digital Presentation'.

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