Chennai Photo Biennale - Edition III announces first list of artists and curatorial concept

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Chennai Photo Biennale - Edition III announces first list of artists and curatorial concept
Tobias Zielony, From "Haus der Jugend", 2017.

CHENNAI.- Chennai Photo Biennale announced yesterday at a virtual event the first list of artists, collaborative projects and the curatorial concept for the upcoming edition. This would have been the month, CPB Foundation opened the 3rd Edition of the Chennai Photo Biennale but amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biennale was postponed to December 2021 from its original schedule of December 9, 2020 - February 6, 2021. The announcement made yesterday marks this month with the first reveal of the plans for the upcoming edition.

The curatorial team working on this edition consists of Arko Datto (Kolkata), Bhooma Padmanabhan (Chennai), Boaz Levin (Berlin) and Kerstin Meincke (Essen).

Curatorial Note
Titled Maps of Disquie t, the third edition of the Biennale will reflect on the exigencies of our times: resisting majoritarian impositions, ecological collapse, and technological dystopias by reclaiming pluralities of thought, voices, and art, and building new networks of solidarity and care.

The site of the 'Great Trigonometrical Survey' of 1802, the first colonial attempt to measure and map the subcontinent, Chennai today is an arena of contested visions of a common future that resonates beyond. Anchoring itself in Chennai, the biennale will delve into the invisible realms of power and knowledge that shape our global present while simultaneously proposing the creation of resistant cartographies. It asks, whose resources? Whose rivers? Whose interests? Whose voices? Whose images?

The biennale brings together artists and practices that explore the representation of labour, urban imaginaries, the commons, economic and migratory flows, archaeology and mining, and what anthropologist Arjun Appadurai, describing growing hostility towards minorities across the world, refers to as a ‘fear of small numbers’.

”CPB Edition III hopes to provide much-needed respite to arts audiences through both immersive public art experiences, for which we have been collectively yearning, and through its incisive curatorial position that invites visitors to unlearn and to question. I congratulate our four-member curatorial team for wading through a sea of uncertainty over the last nine months to deliver us this impressive first list of artists and the haunting conceptual framework - Maps of Disquiet. We look forward to welcoming visitors from across India and the world in December 2021 to Chennai for an unforgettable experience.” Varun Gupta, Founder, Chennai Photo Biennale

“I am particularly excited because I see the potential of what a photo biennale of this magnitude has the ability to create- a rich thriving ecosystem for contemporary art in a novel region of the country, the power to bring together communities and the capacity to become one of the most significant events in South Asia to represent a extraordinary form of art to the global community. Through the medium of photography, it will allow viewers to pay closer attention and perceive a deeper sense of the environment they occupy. In that, the Chennai Photo Biennale is also fortunate to have the voices of 4 incredible and extremely talented individuals who come together to form the curatorial team, making it thoroughly inclusive.” - Tarana Sawhney (Trustee, CPB Foundation & Chairperson, CII Task Force for Art and Culture)

Chennai Photo Biennale is founded and organised by the CPB Foundation and Goethe Institut Chennai, and is dedicated to promoting the photographic art form across demographics.

First list of Artists
Andreas Langfeld • Babu Eshwar Prasad • Gauri Gill • Hito Steyerl • Katrin Koenning • Lieko Shiga • Lisa Rave • Mohini Chandra • Nico Joana Weber • Rohini Devasher • Rory Pilgrim • Sanchayan Ghosh • Saranraj • Senthil Kumaran • Siva Sai Jeevanantham • Soumya Sankar Bose • Susanne Kriemann • Tobias Zielony • Vamika Jain • Vasudha Thozhur • Yuvan Aves

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