You Must See Anish Kapoor’s Perpetual Black Whirlpool at Kochi-Muziris Biennale—It’s Amazing

"Descension" (2014) by Anish Kapoor. Photo by Dheeraj Thakur, courtesy of the Kochi Biennale Foundation

Imagine walking into a building and the floor suddenly opens up to reveal a mysterious whirlpool of black water. Such is Anish Kapoor’s mesmerizing new installation artwork, installed at the grounds of the ongoing Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

Titled “Descension,” the whirlpool churns and froths with a mind-numbing roar. You can view a video of the whirlpool in action here.

Kapoor’s work was one of the most highly anticipated at this year’s biennale. The second edition of the festival runs until March 29, 2015, with works by Francesco Clemente, Neha Choksi, Manish Nai, Mithu Sen, and more, curated by the Indian artist Jitish Kallat.

In a video interview released by the biennale, the artist talks about the importance of the scale and the “skin” of his sculptures: “I would say the skin of an object is what defines it. Its weight and mass is contingent on its skin. But scale, of course, is much more mysterious.”

The whirlpool measures 260×320×320 cm and is surrounded by a fence. The site-specific work, which Kapoor rarely makes, let alone in his native India, took a straight week of digging by 50 laborers to create a hole large enough to house it. You can see the work being installed in this video

The head of production for the biennale, Shyam Patel, told the Hindustan Times that installing the work was not easy: “His work was located very close to the sea… So when we were digging, we also had to be really careful not to go too deep and flood the space with seawater.”

Bombay-born British artist Kapoor won the Turner Prize in 1991 and the Praemium Imperiale in 2011. An upcoming exhibition of his work will be held at Versailles beginning in June 2015 (Anish Kapoor Tapped for 2015 Solo Show at Versailles)

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