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Visual artist Shubigi Rao to curate 5th Kochi-Muziris Biennale

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Visual artist Shubigi Rao to curate 5th Kochi-Muziris Biennale
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Venice: Singapore-based Indian visual artist Shubigi Rao, best known for her complex and layered installations, will curate the fifth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) that will be held next year, the biennale selection committee announce Thursday.

Rao has been chosen for the job for her "exceptional acumen and inventive sensibilities", the committee said at the Palazzo Franchetti here.

"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," Rao said.

"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 added.

The 43-year-old artist was chosen as the curator unanimously by the members of the search committee comprising of artists, curators and collectors Amrita Jhaveri, Gayatri Sinha, Jitish Kallat, Sunita Choraria and Tasneem Mehta, along with Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) trustees Alex Kuruvilla, Bose Krishnamachari and V Sunil.

KBF co-founder Krishnamachari said that Rao's selection was a response to the foundation's interest in "selecting a young curator with varied interests.

He said she was a "brilliant and original" artist with "exceptional talent".

Mumbai-born Rao, whose works were featured in the last edition of KMB, 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.

The fifth edition of the Biennale will begin on December 12, 2020.

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