Art:Interrupted is a documentary by Hattie Bowering that was filmed before and during India's first contemporary art biennale, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2012. It's a behind the scenes look at how a new biennale is set up in a city that doesn't have the infrastructure for a biennale and the challenges faced by its founders and artists.
The film was first screened in the UAE last November at the Sharjah Art Foundation and will be screened in Dubai on Thursday, 22nd September at A4 Space in Alserkal Avenue.
Art:Interrupted gives you an insight into how the city handled its first biennale which was also the antithesis of biennales and art fairs around the world, the reaction of the people of Kochi and the challenges faced by everyone involved. Over a span of few months, many in Kochi who weren't familiar with what a biennale is had a sense of pride their city hosted India's first contemporary art biennale, welcoming visitors from India and abroad, but most importantly, enjoying and engaging with a contemporary art event that was made for them.
The film is endearing and funny, everyone in it believe in the biennale and the positive effect it can have on the city. (Disclosure, I was one of supporters of the crowdfunding campaign to raise money for this film).
Here's the trailer, and if you are in Dubai, I strongly recommend you go watch this film. I do hope it gets to be screened in more cities.
Shot in 2012, Art: Interrupted goes behind the scenes as India prepared to host its first contemporary art biennale in the historic port town of Fort Kochi, Kerala. From the frontline of art, the film followed Indian and international artists as they created new and ambitious works in beautiful but derelict colonial spaces.
It is a very entertaining film set in a part of the world that is colourful, vibrant and loud and presents a picture of India and its cultural connections that everybody can respond to.
Overcoming limited resources, errant labour unions, equatorial heat and swarms of mosquitos, the artists, the organisers and the local community managed – against the odds – to pull off an event that drew over 400,000 visitors and found a new and appreciative audience for contemporary art.
Date and time: Thursday, 22nd September at 7.00pm (the film is 51 minutes long)
Venue: A4 Space, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai (location map)