Art beyond museums and galleries

Pune, Jan 4 (IANS) With the aim to break the age old myth that art is confined to museums and galleries, the upcoming edition of Pune Biennale will feature several participatory projects at the venues of historic importance along J.M. Road here.

The third edition of India’s second Biennale, scheduled between January 5-29, is titled “Habit_co_Habit”. It has been curated by art historian and curator Zasha Colah and art critic Luca Cerizza.

The locations will include Modern High School, Municipal Printing Press, Mahatma Phule Museum, Pataleshwar caves precinct, Sambhaji Park and ABIL Subway.

The theme of “Identity and Self” shall be discovered through diverse mediums and forums including displays, installations, workshops, dialogues and seminars.

The projects include workshops and exhibitions of differently-abled artists, student-focussed young expressions, interactions in public spaces like parks, experiment with transient art spaces such as shipping containers, exploring different materials and narratives through visual media.

“For this edition, we have invited a line-up of artists that use a good variety of mediums — from painting to sound, from sculpture to performance, from film to drawings and more,” spokesperson Kiran Shinde told IANS in an e-mail interview.

Shinde is also the managing director of the Pune Biennale Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established to bring together art, architecture and design for enhancing visual aesthetics in Pune.

He said: “We have opted for diversity of expressions to promote the idea that aesthetics in everyday spaces could be enhanced by any medium despite the limitations and challenges that are posed by the peculiarities of the locations.”

The biennale boasts of a stellar line up of artists from more than six countries and 25 cities, who have confirmed their participation.

Visitors to Pune Biennale will get a glimpse of some substantial artworks from nearly 300 artists of national and international repute.

“Many artists display the capacity to understand the context and not thinking art as something independent, and are using their versatility and fluidity in creating artworks,” Shinde said.

Several precursor activities have begun to build up the participatory nature of biennale activities and seek engagement of people through projects such as street and graffiti art.

Shinde said: “We have initiated a national level architectural competition which will culminate with a panel discussion on ‘re-imaging streets as public space’ and an award ceremony.”

“We are seeing this internationalization also happening and we feel proud. We have also been able to garner more support from people and institutions in the city,” he said.