Forming in the Pupil of an Eye
December 12th, 2016 through March 29th, 2017
Gabriel Lester is featured among 97 artists who have been invited to create new works in this year’s Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the largest contemporary art biennial in South Asia. Curated by the eminent Indian artist Sudarshan Shetty, the third edition of the Biennale is titled Forming in the Pupil of an Eye. The Biennale will run from December 12, 2016 until March 29, 2017.
Gabriel Lester is renowned for the deft straddling of mediums in his spectacular works. The Amsterdam-based artist showcases another multi-disciplinary project for Kochi. Dwelling Kappiri Spirits is a large installation at Aspinwall featuring a floating room. It is a variation on two older multimedia installations, Where Spirits Dwell (2014) and Melancholia in Arcadia (2010). Capturing a non-existent breeze, frozen billowing lace curtains trail out its windows, catching a moment of time and space, evoking an otherworldly presence. Within the dwelling is a cigar that is left forever burning, an offering to the Kappiri Muthappan, the local deity that represents the African slaves that were killed here after the Dutch ousted the Portuguese colonial rulers. It is a seductive, haunting image and a space for remembrance, to recall the history that we now inhabit. The work is not only reflective of existential questions, but also of deep emotional upheavals. The stiff curtains in Lester’s work commemorate the passing of a dear friend, a fellow artist. “I found this image to express the moment when the soul leaves the body, only touching the curtains on its way out the window.”
Gabriel Lester has exhibited at many major museums and biennales such as Venice Biennale (Venice), Istanbul Biennale (Istanbul), Sydney Biennale (Sydney), Sharjah Biennale (Sharjah), Marrakesh Biennale (Marrakesh), Liverpool Biennial (Liverpool), Busan Bienniale (Busan), Moscow Biennale (Moscow), Documenta 13 (Kassel), Performa 13 and 09 (New York), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), PS1 (New York), Witte de With (Rotterdam), Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam), Gemeentemuseum (Den Haag), Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, Ohio), Artists Space (New York), Rijksakademie (Amsterdam), and the World Expo (Hannover). His recent exhibition includes “Unresolved Extravaganza” (solo), de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam, 2016; “Nine Day A Week” (solo), Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2016; and “Heaven, Hell & Earth”, Stedelijk Museum ’s-
About the Biennale
The third edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale is artist Sudarshan Shetty’s first curatorial project. His vision for the 2016 Biennale draws from mythical accounts of India as the “land of seven rivers.” The idea of streams flowing, converging and diverging underlies the curatorial questions which KMB 2016 raises and the knowledge explored through the display and performance of the selected artworks. Looking at motifs such as tradition and community, the central question asks: what does it mean to be together in time—to be contemporary? In keeping with its curatorial vision, this edition of the Biennale attempts to question and blur the boundaries that categorise the various disciplines of artistic expression. KMB 2016 will feature works by visual artists, poets, musicians and performance professionals from diverse cultural and artistic traditions.
Complete Artist list
Abhishek Hazra (India), Abir Karmakar (India), Achraf Touloub (Morocco/France), AES+F (Russia), Ahmet Öğüt (Turkey/Germany), Aki Sasamoto (Japan/USA), Aleksandra Ska (Poland), Aleš Šteger (Slovenia), Alicja Kwade (Poland/Germany), Anamika Haksar (India), Avinash Veeraraghavan (India), Bara Bhaskaran (India), C Bhagyanath(India), Camille Norment (USA/Norway), Carl Pruscha and Eva Schlegel(Austria), Caroline Duchatelet (France), Charles Avery (United Kingdom), Chittrovanu Mazumdar (India), Chris Mann(Australia/USA), Dana Awartani (Saudi Arabia), Daniele Galliano (Italy), Desmond Lazaro (India/United Kingdom), Dia Mehta Bhupal (India), Endri Dani (Albania), Erik van Lieshout (Netherlands), Éva Magyarósi (Hungary), Eva Schlegel (Austria), François Mazabraud (France), Gabriel Lester (Netherlands), Gauri Gill (India), Gary Hill (USA), Hanna Tuulikki (United Kingdom), Himmat Shah (India), Javier Peréz (Spain), Jonathan Owen (United Kingdom), Kabir Mohanty (India), Katarina Zdjelar(Netherlands), Katrīna Neiburga and Andris Eglītis (Latvia), Lantian Xie(UAE), Leighton Pierce (USA), Lundahl & Seitl (Sweden), Mansi Bhatt(India), Martin Walde (Austria), Mikhail Karikis (United Kingdom/Greece), Miller Puckette (USA), Naiza Khan (Pakistan/United Kingdom), Nicola Durvasula and John Tilbury (United Kingdom), Orijit Sen (India), Ouyang Jianghe (China), Padmini Chettur (India), Paweł Althamer (Poland), Pedro Gómez-Egaña (Colombia/Norway), Prabhavathi Meppayil (India), Praneet Soi (India/Holland), Rachel Maclean (United Kingdom), Ravi Agarwal(India), Raul Zurita (Chile), Remen Chopra (India), Sergio Chejfec(Argentina/USA), Sharmistha Mohanty (India), Sirous Namazi(Iran/Sweden), Sophie Dejode and Bertrand Lacombe (France), Stan Douglas(Canada), Subrat Behera (India), Sunil Padwal (India), Takayuki Yamamoto(Japan), Tom Burckhardt (USA), Tony Joseph (India), T.V. Santhosh (India), Valerie Mejer (Mexico), Voldemārs Johansons (Latvia), Yael Efrati (Israel), Yardena Kurulkar (India), Yuko Mohri (Japan), Zuleikha Chaudhari (India)