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Pulling off a 2nd biennale deserves salute: Zacharia

Pulling off a 2nd biennale deserves salute: Zacharia

Kochi: The upcoming Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) is a show of proof to the world that Kerala can repeat a mammoth festival on global contemporary art even amid unfavourable local situations, renowned writer Paul Zacharia Monday said.

"Imagine a tiny state that is increasingly caught in the tides of ideological poverty, administrative corruption and cultural rot still managing to come up with a grand show of art. I'm sure somewhere in us Malayalis there is a streak of goodness and positivity left," he said after visiting a major venue of the 2nd edition of KMB, beginning on December 12.

The KMB is virtually a "rebroadcast" to the art circuit across continents that little Kerala "can sustain a revolutionary art movement in the midst of religious revivalists, power brokers, fortune hunters and pleasure seekers", the 69-year-old litterateur-activist noted at the end of a two-hour tour of installations around Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi.

Zacharia, who was given a detailed briefing of the artworks at the seaside heritage complex by KMB '14 artistic director Jitish Kallat along with Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu of the Kochi Biennale Foundation, said even the debut edition of the festival possessed a "path-breaking" quality.

"The biennale has facilitated people in my state-and India-to realise that art is not just about paintings and sculptures," he noted. "One more biennale, and Keralites get an excellent feel of global art movement of our times; it can then get habitual."

While on his visit to the galleries that are readying up for the 108-day extravaganza featuring works of 94 artists, Zacharia met internationally-acclaimed painter-critic Gulammohamed Sheikh from Gujarat.

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