Titled Maps of Disquiet, 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.
The site of the 'Great Trigonometrical Survey' of 1802, the first colonial attempt to measure and map the subcontinent, Chennai today is an arena of contested visions of a common future that resonates beyond. Anchoring itself in Chennai, the biennale will delve into the invisible realms of power and knowledge that shape our global present while simultaneously proposing the creation of resistant cartographies. It asks, whose resources? Whose rivers? Whose interests? Whose voices? Whose images?
The biennale brings together artists and practices that explore the representation of labour, urban imaginaries, the commons, economic and migratory flows, archaeology and mining, and what anthropologist Arjun Appadurai, describing growing hostility towards minorities across the world, refers to as a ‘fear of small numbers’.
Chennai Photo Biennale is founded and organised by the CPB Foundation and Goethe-Institut Chennai, and is dedicated to promoting the photographic art form across demographics. The CPB Foundation’s primary focus area is photography education and discourse throughout the year, culminating in a city-wide public-art photography festival every two years that becomes a platform to showcase, and an opportunity to network with international, national and local artists and curators.
For over 60 years, the Goethe-Institut Chennai has been promoting an ongoing dialogue and exchange between Indian and German artists and experts in order to present German culture abroad and help shape a current understanding of Germany today.