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Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee says West's dominance in art due to historical reasons, not quality

He said the renewed vigour of developing nations in art awareness was visible in the ongoing 5th edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale

PTI Kochi Published 16.01.23, 10:58 AM
Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee

Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee File picture

The dominance of America and Europe in the field of art is only due to historical reasons, not because of the value or quality of the artistic content, Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee has said.

Banerjee said the renewed vigour of developing nations in art awareness was visible in the ongoing 5th edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

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"This (Biennale) is important for India. In the same way, art festivals like the Biennale are relevant for other developing countries. The dominance of America and Europe in the field of arts is only due to historical reasons and not because of the value or quality of the artistic content. More than the art creations from Europe, it is those from Peru which make us stir," the Indian-American economist said on Sunday.

Through their unique creative works, artists from Peru, Mexico and Palestine, among others, have succeeded in bringing out new ideas and narratives being shaped in their respective regions, said Banerjee.

The world renowned economist was received by Biennale Foundation president Bose Krishnamachari at the Aspinwall House venue, the organisers said in a release.

The renewed vigour of countries from the Latin American, Asia, Africa and Oceania regions in art awareness and artistic creations is an unparalleled experience that one gains from the Kochi Muziris Biennale, Banerjee said.

"This is one of the unique features of this Biennale. These countries realise that they are no pushovers and that they need to find a place of their own," he added.

Meanwhile, noted author and great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi - Tushar Gandhi - visited the Biennale and said it was not merely an exhibition of artistic creations but acted as a strong socio-political influence that helps in imparting a new awakening among the viewers.

"Those who experience the works are often taken to the underlying theme of the creations. For instance, artworks expressing anger will prompt an art lover to think about the underlying cause. Often, the viewers could connect the creations with contemporary developments across the world," Gandhi said.

He said the premier art fest must also reach other parts of the country.

"If the art galleries involve just an exhibition of artworks, the biennale provides a unique experience of art. That's why the common people could interact and connect with the artistic works on display here," he added.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on December 12 inaugurated the country's largest contemporary art exhibition here.

Besides the main venues, Aspinwall House and Pepper House, the exhibition of artworks and installations would be held at TKM Warehouse, Dutch Warehouse, Kashi Art Cafe, Kashi Town House, and David Hall, all in and around Fort Kochi. The Durbar Hall Art Gallery in the heart of Ernakulam city is also a venue.

The KMB was launched in 2012, and this year marks the 10th anniversary of the biennial event. The fifth edition, originally scheduled in 2020 and postponed twice due to the Covid pandemic, is now being held in a grand manner.

The fourth edition in 2018 saw over six lakh art enthusiasts from across the world calling it as one of the top international art destinations.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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