Third Edition Chennai Photo Biennale to run from 9 December 2021 – 6 February 2022

Chennai Photo Biennale’s third edition to run from 9 December – 6 February 2022 which includes physical exhibitions, online journals, biennale publication, artist talks, photo awards and much more.

The third edition of Chennai Photo Biennale (CPB), is being presented in hybrid physical-digital forms this year. The international biennale of photography, will be held between 9 December 2021 – 6 February 2022, with physical exhibitions in Chennai in spaces including Forum Art Gallery, Ashvita’s Gallery, Roja Muthiah Research Library and Madras Literary Society along with hybrid screenings of video works at Goethe-Institut, Chennai.

Titled Maps of Disquiet, 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.

Founded and organised by the CPB Foundation and the Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan, Chennai, one of the key highlights are the online journals conceptualised in the run up to the Biennale. The first journal was launched on 27 November titled ‘Through the Glass, Darklycomprising   podcasts,   lens-based  works  and  critical  texts  that  delve  into  the  notion  of remembrance, living life in uncertainty during the lockdown, the aftermath of environmental disasters and the relevance of images in the present day.

The journal’s first issue contributors are  a  mix  of  artists,  writers  and  scholars  that  include  Andreas  Langfeld,  Katja  Stuke,  Oliver Sieber,  Amitesh  Grover,  Nicolas  Polli,  Paribartana  Mohanty,  Parvathi  Nayar,  Nayantara  Nayar, Sohrab Hura, Tanvi Mishra and Yuvan Aves. The second journal is expected to be launched on 4 December, 2021 titled ‘Maps of Disquiet’. The Journal project is supported by Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, New Delhi.

“Curating this biennale, under these particular circumstances, was a way of thinking about how our perceptions of the world have been shaped by images, and how images in turn help us look at the world, and make sense of it. When speaking about photography from Chennai, one can’t avoid confronting its colonial roots. Photography was a central tool in the colonization project in the 19th and 20th centuries and became integral to the creation of disciplinary strategies  and categories. It came to be taught to students of the fine arts school in Madras as early as in 1856, and soon afterwards it became an integral part in multiple surveys. As such, the medium of photography played a major role in the production of cultural and scientific knowledge. In the framework of our biennale, we didn’t want to merely trace these histories, but from here critically look at the multiple functions, agencies and practices of photography today. How are artists using images to reshape our perceptions of the world, challenging dominant ideas and narratives, asking questions, and making us critically engage with how we consume images? ” – Curatorial Team of Chennai Photo Biennale Edition III.

In  addition,  the  biennale  also  includes  an  international  University  Student  collaboration  and workshop with Anna University, Chennai; University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany and Folkwang University  of  Arts,  Germany  to  bring  together  students  from  Indian  and  German  Universities studying  architecture,  art  history  and  photography,  to  work  on projects and texts that will be presented in January 2022.

The participating artists in the third edition of the Chennai Photo Biennale include Amitesh Grover,  Anaïs  Tondeur,  Andreas  Langfeld,  Sarabhi  Ravichandran,  Arthur  Crestani,  Babu Eshwar Prasad, Carolina Caycedo, Gauri Gill, Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl, James P Tylor, Jane Jin Kaisen, Katja Stuke, Oliver Sieber, Katrin Koenning, Lisa Rave, Michael Hanna, Mohini Chandra, Nico Joana Weber, Parvathi Nayar, Nayantara Nayar, Patrick Pound, Rohini Devasher, Rohit Saha, Rory Pilgrim, Ruth Patir, Sanchayan Ghosh, Saranraj, Senthil Kumaran, Siva Sai Jeevanantham, Soumya Sankar Bose, Sridhar Balasubramanium, Susanne Kriemann, Tobias Zielony, Vamika Jain, Vasudha Thozhur and Yuvan Aves.

“CPB Edition 3 is an act of resistance at a time when the world is struggling to find normalcy. We are excited to deliver groundbreaking exhibitions by celebrated artists across both physical and digital formats. Spread across seven venues in Chennai, two distinct digital platforms, and a signature print publication, the third edition will feature the works of over 50 artists and contributors from 11 countries spanning a 60 day period.” Varun Gupta, Director of Chennai Photo Biennale.

Following the launch of the journals, Chennai Photo Biennale will be hosting a series of programs in  the  forthcoming  months  including  several  talks  from  the  artists,  physical  exhibition  of selected  artist’s  artworks,  virtual  exhibition  of  artworks,  digital  screening,  University  exchange programs, showcasing student work, CPB activity corner and the CPB Awards.

Registrations are free and mandatory for all programming. Links to register here

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