The Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the most recent global art biennale, was launched in Kochi in the state of Kerala, India, in 2012. This essay considers the “biennale effect,” locating it within India’s recent history of radical political modernization and in the context of the state’s attempts to establish itself in terms of internationalism and contemporaneity via the arts. Pivotal to this discussion of the biennale effect is the recognition of a growing critical discourse about the biennale format by scholars, critics, and curators. The impact of the Indian biennale on the formerly Communist city of Kochi is also explored, including photographic documentation by the author, in the context of the contradictions and paradoxes raised by India’s hosting of this global art event.


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pp. 296-312
Launched on MUSE
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