As the past editions of Kochi-Muziris Biennale also this year it takes place in different locations, heritage properties, public spaces, and galleries in Fort Kochi and Ernakulam.
Kottapuram Fort, part of the Kerala Tourism Department’s Tourism Heritage Project, was chosen as venue number 12. Built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, the fort was once vital to the trade routes of the region, as it commands a view of the River Periyar flowing into the Arabian Sea. The ancient port of Muziris, from where the Kochi-Muziris Biennale gets its name, is believed to be in this area
The largest setting in Fort Kochi is Aspinwall House, loaned to Kochi-Muziris Biennale by DLF Limited in association with the Gujral Foundation. The large compound contains office buildings, a residential bungalow and a number of warehouses and smaller outer-lying structures.
The second venue is David Hall, a Dutch bungalow built around 1695 by the Dutch East India Company and it is named after David Koder (a Jewish business man) resided there with his family. David Hall is currently an art gallery and cafe, and regularly hosts a variety of collateral events.
The third is Pepper House, a waterfront heritage property located on the Kalvathi Road. The sixteen thousand square feet Pepper House complex was renovated and currently houses a courtyard cafe, visual arts library, gallery, studios for artist residencies and event spaces.
Durbar Hall is another venue of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, it is located in the heart of the city, near Kochi’s main railway station Ernakulam South. Built in the 1850, the hall has been used in many different ways and today the Kochi Biennale Foundation have transformed the space into an international museum.
Parade Ground is a four acre open space in the heart of Fort Kochi. During the Biennale, it hosts outdoor installations and a variety of cultural events.
Cabral Yard is a property that gets its name from Portuguese navigator Cabral, who made the first shipment of merchandise from Cochin in 1500 AD.
Kashi Art Cafe is an old Dutch property converted into a cafe by Anoop Scaria and Dorrie Younger. Kashi Art Cafe opened in 1997 and it has become the hub of Kochi’s contemporary art scene. The Cafe contains a permanent collection of artworks.
MAP Project Space are structures dating back several hundred years; built at a time when the Dutch ruled Cochin, they served as warehouses for the storage of spice and several of them – today – continue to be used.
- Aspinwall. Courtesy of Kochi-Muziris Biennale
- Durbar Hall. Courtesy of Kochi-Muziris Biennale
- Kashi Art Cafe. Courtesy of Kochi-Muziris Biennale
- Gujarati Warehouse