Fwd: MATTANCHERRY | Curated by Riyas Komu | August 12 - October 12 | URU art harbour
KR Sunil, Mattancherry Series, 2017
We are happy to announce that Mattancherry, the inaugural exhibition at URU art harbour, curated by Riyas Komu opens on August 12, 2017.
Featuring the works of 13 artists, the exhibition draws energy from the life and times of the people of Kochi, and will remain open for two months (August 12 - October 12, 2017).
Mattancherry explores the contemporary spatial, social, historical, and temporal shifts of the location by way of investigating the history of labourers and working class, internal migrations, traceable pasts, intangible cultures, stories, and memories. While much has been written and made of Mattancherry, its glorious past and unreliable present, little has been said of the actual people who inhabit the land. In every instance, they fade into the dark abyss of silence and temporal narratives used to extend specific agendas. But these explorations remain strictly within the 'gaze of the tourist' and fail to account for the spirit of Mattancherry built over centuries through trade, cultural exchanges, and ideas of coexistence that lie beyond the facilities of mere cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism.
It is perhaps this entwined cohesion that allows the people of Mattancherry to live and die together, especially at a time when the world is divided into throes of cultural incomprehension and forcible allows for it to remain unashamedly itself, to steadfastly support and maintain its social life, networks, and support systems unbroken by institutions of capital and anchor it - to the place, to its people, and to its communities. Perhaps it's this rootedness, this contentment that ignited a certain fear in authorities who have, at various points in time, attempted to designate it as a slum, annihilate its inhabitant's sense of belonging to the place, and establish modern apparatuses for a social, spatial, and cultural division. It's not as if their marginalisation (from politics, progress, civil liberties, civic functioning, basic amenities) is entirely in the past.
Mattancherry, the exhibition, seeks to not only move beyond the established microcosms but also to suggest the multi-layered aesthetic, cultural, social, and even abstract sentiments expressive of different multi-cultural perspectives - of looking at and seeing Mattancherry, the place through its people.
Anitha Thampi (b.1968, lives and works in Thiruvananthapuram) / Anvar Ali (b. 1966, lives and works in Thrissur) / Jalaja PS (b. 1983, lives and works in Kochi) / KR Sunil (b. 1975, lives and works in Kodungallur) / Latheesh Lakshman (b. 1979, lives and works in Dubai) / Ramu Aravindan (b. 1967, lives and works in Bengaluru) / Route Cochin (a Kochi based research collective) / Saju Kunhan (b. 1983. lives and works in Mumbai) / Sosa Joseph (b. 1971, lives and works in Kochi) / Upendranath TR (b. 1969, lives and works in Kochi) / Urban Design Collective (a Chennai based collective) / Vipin Dhanurdharan (b. 1989, lives and works in Kochi) / Zakkir Hussain (b. 1970, lives and works in Kochi)
The main exhibition will be accompanied by an ancillary programme of talks, music performances and film screenings, at URU art harbour in Kochangadi, Mattancherry.