Munich, Germany & Kochi, Kerala(Agency): The BMW Group, partner of Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) since its first edition in 2012, decided to extend the cooperation for further three Biennales. This year’s edition of KMB will take place from December 12, 2016, to March 29, 2017, in 9 venues spread across Fort Kochi. Maintaining its unique character of being led by artist-curators, the KMB 2016 will showcase 112 art works of 97 artists from 36 countries. KMB 2016 is curated by internationally renowned artist Sudarshan Shetty. He is the first Indian artist to join the Rolls-Royce Art Programme, which was on show in Mumbai this November.
Frank Schloeder, President (act.), BMW Group India: “Right from it’s inception cultural engagement has been an integral part of BMW Group India. As an active partner, BMW Group has been promoting creative exchanges between cultures, people and within the company. Since 2012 BMW has enlarged it’s cultural engagement in India by fostering a long-term commitment and partnership with Kochi-Muziris Biennale, enabling it to be a world-class platform for the showcase of contemporary art. The third edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 offers us yet another opportunity to widen the scope of our cultural engagement by showcasing various artistic expressions in projects focussed on the thought, ‘Forming in the pupil of an eye’.”
BMW Art Talk
Starting at 9 AM on the morning of the opening on December 12, the BMW Art Talk was thus being held at Fort Kochi in the presence of Feroze Gujral(patron – Kochi Biennale Foundation, philanthropist, co-founder-Gujral Foundation), Dr Venu V (IAS, Principal Secretary, Kerala Tourism, Government of Kerala), Dayanita Singh (photographer) and Dr Thomas Girst (Head of BMW Group Cultural Engagement on the topic of “The Art of Patronage”.
Founded and curated by two of India’s leading artists, Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is a project in appreciation of, and an education about, artistic expression and its relationship with society.
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale intends to create not only a platform for contemporary art in India but also to provide a platform for social change. In addition, the Kochi Biennale Foundation sees it as its mission to function as a catalyst for subjects such as sustainability and urban development.
Shetty’s art practice has evolved over three decades from being centred on painting to multi-media explorations that include sculpture, video, performance and installation. Experimenting with scale and motion, Shetty’s works frequently involve bringing together heterogeneous world of objects, creating a sensation of strangeness and novelty in what previously familiar. To date, his works have been included in solo and group exhibitions in India and abroad, including at the Gwangju Biennale (2000), Tate Modern, London (2001), Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (2001), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011), Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010), and Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2012).
Shetty is the first Indian artist to join the Rolls-Royce Art Programme and this commission has enabled him to explore new dimensions of his work, including an in-depth exploration of new methods of filming. The commission takes inspiration from a popular South Indian folk tale that is an allegory for artistic expression and the importance of creativity (titled: “A Story a Song”).
About the Rolls-Royce Art Programme
Art and creative endeavours are at the heart of Rolls-Royce and its motor cars are commissioned for their aesthetic power. They are created out of the finest materials at the hands of skilled artisans who, in turn, produce unique, distinctive and ultimately beautiful automobiles. By creating the Art Programme, Rolls-Royce formally acknowledged this unique ethos it shares with the world of art.
The Rolls-Royce Art Programme comprises new works commissioned in situ, partnerships with leading organisations, art talks with emerging and established artists, art drives, art walks and art receptions around the world. It fosters creativity and enables artists to realise new projects and to explore new areas of their practice.
To date, Rolls-Royce has worked with leading international artists and key figures from the contemporary art world including Isaac Julien, Ana Maria Tavares, Morgan Wong, Carlos Rolón/Dzine, Angela Bulloch, Ugo Rondinone, Michael Zavros, Regina Silveira and Will Cotton. Rolls-Royce recently announced collaborations with Mohammed Kazem, Sudarshan Shetty and Yang Fudong.
About BMW Group’s Cultural Commitment
For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in over 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art, classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have co-operated with BMW. Currently, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari are creating the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car Collection. Besides co-initiatives, such as BMW Tate Live, the BMW Art Journey and the “Opera for All” concerts in Berlin, Munich and London, the company also partners with leading museums and art fairs as well as orchestras and opera houses around the world. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities – as this initiative is as essential for producing groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.