Singapore-based Indian-origin artist and writer Shubigi Rao has been named the curator of the fifth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) that begins on December 12, 2020. The selection committee, which made the announcement, unanimously decided to appoint Rao for her “exceptional acumen and inventive sensibilities” to curate the upcoming Biennale. The appointment is in keeping with the tradition of an artist helming the contemporary art festival that debuted in 2012.
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 a larger discourse of the critical, political, and social in artistic practices.
Krishnamachari, who is a co-founder of the 2010-instituted KBF, described Rao as a “brilliant and original” artist. Rao has participated in the Taipei Biennial, Pune Biennale, the Singapore Biennale, and the Singapore Writers Festival.
The Foundation was served a legal notice on March 18, by Appu Thomas, on behalf of Thomas Clery Infrastructures and Developers Pvt Limited, contractors hired by Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF). The company alleged that the KBF owes them money to the tune of Rs 77 lakh. They even called the KBF’s way of functioning ‘haphazard and unprofessional’ and alleged that the works were not sanctioned and payments not made in time.