Kochi, Kerala

Song Dong, Water Temple, 2018, glass panel, containers, water, Chinese calligraphy brushes. Installation view, Aspinwall House, Kochi, India. From the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

Song Dong, Water Temple, 2018, glass panel, containers, water, Chinese calligraphy brushes. Installation view, Aspinwall House, Kochi, India. From the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Various Venues

Song Dong, Water Temple, 2018, glass panel, containers, water, Chinese calligraphy brushes. Installation view, Aspinwall House, Kochi, India. From the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

THE MOST HAUNTING IMAGE from “Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life,” Anita Dube’s strong, sensitive exhibition constituting the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, is an old photograph that appears nowhere in the show itself but accompanied virtually all of the early press releases announcing the event. The image is undated and the author is unknown. Shot in what looks like an abandoned field or parade ground, it captures the wildly engaging forms of artist K. P. Krishnakumar’s Boy Listening, 1985. Made of painted plaster, cloth, and fiberglass, the otherworldly sculpture groups together the figure of a man—crouching down, resting on bended knee, intently cupping his ear—and a tangled, nearly indecipherable mass that resembles, at a stretch, a twisted phonograph, its horn branching off the mechanical body like an arthritic bloom. In the photograph, shadows encroach on

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