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Kochi Muziris Biennale: Whorled Explorations

London-based artist Hew Locke was in for a bit of shocker when he reached the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 site, Fort Kochi in Kerala. His installation, Sea Power, was apparently crafted from his imagination of what the historical kingdom of Cochin would have been. Indeed, he had yoked his imagination to that of a 17th century German printmaker. The printmaker had in turn conceived the kingdom of Cochin based on the tales of another. “My work is imagination based on the imagination of an image that was perhaps real. It was double fiction and I thought the prints were elaborate romantic imagery...but I discovered when I arrived in Cochin that this double fiction has elements of reality. People still wear lungis and walk around bare-chested,” says an amazed Locke. Hew Locke’s beaded frieze of mythological and historical figures that gently sway in the wind is a response to the biennial theme, ‘Whorled Exploration’, and suggests blips in the seminal mov­ements of history.Whorled Explorat…