Singapore-based artist-writer Shubigi Rao to curate Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020
The selection committee, which made the announcement on Thursday, unanimously decided to appoint Rao for her "exceptional acumen and inventive sensibilities" to curate the upcoming biennale, the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) said in a statement.
The appointment is in keeping with the tradition of an artist helming the contemporary art festival that debuted in 2012.
Mumbai-born Rao, whose work featured in the fourth edition of the KMB (2018), 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 announcement came after lengthy deliberations within a search committee comprising of Amrita Jhaveri, Gayatri Sinha, Jitish Kallat, Sunita Choraria and Tasneem Mehta, besides KBF trustees Alex Kuruvilla, Bose Krishnamachari and V Sunil.
"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," said the compulsive archivist and visual artist, known for her complex and layered installations.
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.