Kochi's Raintrees on a monsoon evening.

It is with great excitement that the Kochi Biennale Foundation announces the first list of participating artists for the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

In its title, the Biennale is an invocation of the latent cosmopolitan spirit of the contemporary metropolis, Kochi, as well as its mythical past—the ancient port of Muziris, a centre of trade and cultural exchange that is still an active archaeological site. In spirit, the Biennale seeks to explore resonances of this past alongside the pluralities of the present in the current global context to posit alternatives to dominant political and cultural discourses. Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an invitation of dialogue for new aesthetics and politics—rooted in its socio-geographical setting, but receptive to winds blowing in from other worlds.

The fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is curated by eminent artist Anita Dube. Her appointment as curator, unanimously decided upon by an Artistic Advisory Committee put together by the Kochi Biennale Foundation at the beginning of last year, stays with the Biennale’s tradition of being an exhibition helmed by an art practitioner.

On curating an exhibition of this scale, Dube notes: “My earliest intuitive vision for this edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale to explore the possibilities for a non-alienated life has remained with me. The need to listen, think, and learn with each other, particularly voices from the margins—of women, of the queer community, the oppressed castes, the whispers and signs of nature—with a spirit of freedom and comradeship is vital. In both the exhibition and the carefully designed interactive spaces, I hope the incredible range of exhibiting artists and visitors will become active participants and co-producers of the Biennale as a knowledge laboratory.”

As part of her research and curatorial process, Dube visited a total of 29 countries where she was hosted by a wide array of arts institutions and independent supporters of the Biennale. Her artist list, a selection of whom are announced here, reflects the dynamic range of practises and conversations she shared along the way.

ARTISTS

Aernout Mik (Netherlands), Akram Zaatari (Lebanon), Annu Palakunnathu Matthew (India/US), Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (Thailand), B.V. Suresh(India), Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroon), EB Itso (Denmark), Goshka Macuga(Poland), Guerrilla Girls (USA), Heri Dono (Indonesia), Ines Doujak + John Barker (Austria + UK), Jitish Kallat (India), Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba (Vietnam), Madhvi Parekh (India), Marlene Dumas (Netherlands), Nilima Sheikh (India), Pangrok Sulap (Malaysia), PR Satheesh (India), Prabhakar Pachpute (India),Rana Hamadeh (Lebanon), Rina Banerjee (India), Santu Mofokeng (South Africa), Shilpa Gupta (India), Shirin Neshat (Iran), Shubigi Rao (India), Song Dong (China), Sue Williamson (South Africa), Sunil Gupta + Charan Singh(India), Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Thomas Hirschhorn (Switzerland), VALIE EXPORT (Austria), Vipin Dhanurdharan (India), Vivian Caccuri (Brazil), Walid Raad (Lebanon), William Kentridge (South Africa)