Kochi: The fourth edition of Kochi Muziris Biennale focusing on women artists is a reflection on the need of the present era, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday.
“A conspiratorial attempt is on to keep women in submission in the name of tradition and custom,” he said inaugurating the Biennale at Parade Ground in Fort Kochi. “Even the women who have managed to move onto the centrestage are facing the threat of being pushed back into margins,” he said.
Mr Vijayan highlighted the importance accorded by the government to KMB as a signature cultural event of the state, saying that the government had not made any cut to the Biennale funding despite facing one of the worst natural calamities and resultant financial woes.
The inaugural function was also marked by a spell-binding percussion ensemble led by Peruvanam Kuttan Marar. Earlier in the day, Mexican artist Tania Candiani made an emphatic performance by replacing the strings of a loom with that of sitar, highlighting the way everyday sounds impact humans.
Collaborating with compatriot artist Carlos Chinchillas and Kochi’s Ranesh Reju (guitarist) and Vinay Murali (violin-maker), the team at Aspinwal House went on to transform a traditional weaving loom into a musical instrument with strings.
For the project, Candiani used a local loom in disrepair condition. “The idea was to showcase the slowly dying art of handloom weaving in Kerala,” she said having replaced the loom threads with sitar strings. “We ensured we won’t tamper with the aesthetics of the loom. So we used the same technique and design to reproduce and repurpose to the logic of sound to produce music.” Candiani is planning to invite fellow artists to perform. “Viewers are free to access my work and create music. I also invite other musicians performing at the Biennale to come and join in the loom project,” she says.