Kochi, December 18: “What is not art here!” exclaimed Mammootty, as the superstar visited the Kochi-Muziris Biennale today and took a view of the installations and paintings displayed at the Aspinwall House, the main venue of the three-month festival, in Fort Kochi. “See that flag-post over there…. Even that is a work of art,” said the celebrity actor, wearing cooling-glass and looking up at the cluster of green and yellow bamboo poles pitched in the central courtyard of the heritage building, where he was talking to the media after a 90- minute round of a variety of new-age art work.
Impressed with the magnitude and aesthetics of the work, Mammooty said the Biennale merited ticketed entry for the public. “I think we should all contribute towards the event…. A kind of token of appreciation to the effort behind it…. Say, a pass of Rs 10 for children and Rs 50 for adults….”
On whether he would make a donation to the Biennale, the actor turned to co-curator Bose Krishnamachari accompanying him and said: “Let us think about it, let’s discuss it.”
Mammootty said the Biennale was a “great event” that should make his native Kerala proud, given that Kochi has become the country’s first city host the festival that has a 117-year-old history globally.
“I come out (from the art venues) and see you all; now I get real. All this while I was in a magical world,” added the actor, clad in a blue shirt and jeans of a light shade.
Earlier in the day, two other Malayalam actors visited the Biennale. Babu Antony, after seeing the works, said he has been an ardent admirer of art, having been a painter himself during his earlier years in Bangalore.Actor Jishnu said it was particularly wonderful to see the Biennale providing the ideal kind of space for foreign and Indian artists. “The Biennale should have happened much before in India. Events like these would help us alter the notion that high art is only for the elite,” he said after a three-hour visit to Aspinwall.