Artist-founder and artistic director of India’s Kochi-Muziris Biennale
‘Biennales are sometimes floating cities that are unmoored from their locality or regionality,’ noted Shubigi Rao on her appointment as artistic director for the 2020 edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale. In an age swarming with biennials (in which governments and councils have also cottoned on to them as exercises in soft power) Rao’s comments bode well for the fifth edition of the KMB, a biennial that has set its roots in Kerala, remains India’s largest art exhibition and fosters dialogue between local and international artists. Founder/artist Bose Krishnamachari has also been keen to point out that the appointment of Rao ‘is in keeping with the Biennale’s tradition of having an artist as the curator’. That this artist/ curator is pursuing an ongoing project titled Pulp: A Short Biography of the Banished Book, which combines film, publishing and visual art to explore the history of book destruction, adds to the intrigue.