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The University of Southampton
The India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development

Winchester School of Art: The Power of Biennale

A Biennale is any event that happens every two years. It is a term commonly used within the art world to describe large-scale international  contemporary art exhibitions.

Winchester School of Art (WSA), has established a sustained Indian research relationship with the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), launched in 2012 in Fort Kochi, Kerala. The KMB is seen as one of the newest and most influential global art biennales.

Professor Ed D’Souza, Head of WSA, is leading the charge when it comes to the University’s involvement in the KMB. His key early critical writing in the Journal of Cultural Politics on the ‘Biennale effect’ explains the KMB against India’s recent history of radical political modernization post-independence and through the states attempts to establish itself in terms of internationalism and contemporaneity via the arts. This journal article is the seventh most downloaded article from Cultural Politics over the last two years demonstrating the level of global interest in this art event.

The KMB commissioned Professor D’Souza as an artist for the second edition in January 2015 where he built a life-sized sculpture of a Hindustan Ambassador car, End of Empire, built and shown on the streets of Fort Kochi which became a video installation at Tate Modern as part of a WSA week of events, Building an Art Biennale in April 2018.

 

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'End of Empire' on the streets of Fort Kochi

End of Empire has now been recommissioned as a major project for the forthcoming Oslo Biennial launching in May 2019 where it will be reimagined as ‘Migrant Car’. The sculpture will journey around Oslo acting as a catalyst for other collaborations with local artists and curators over a three-month period to give new meanings to the locality by revealing stories of migration in the city at a time of political tensions. The sculpture will also give an opportunity for a dialogue in the city questioning assumptions of how public artworks and audiences might engage in public space through a large-scale event such as a Biennial.

Much of Professor D’Souza’s internationally published work, exhibitions and contributions as a speaker have centred around economic, political and social change concentrating on identity, location and context especially in relation to India and its global diaspora. He has been regularly featured and interviewed in the Indian press and profiled about both his design/art practice and as an expert in relation to India, creativity and UK art and design education. He has also won awards and received nominations for his India related work.

For further information, visit the Winchester School of Art
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