The title of the coming edition of flagship exhibition project of the Pune Biennale is based on a wordplay between "Habit" and "Cohabit". By attaching the suffix "co" before "habit" a rather alternate meaning is obtained. A habit, or ritual, is literally turned into something else, suggesting a transformation in our own behaviour: we get of rid of our habits to start a cohabitation, to live with someone else, to share our living condition with the other, with another.
Cohabitation suggests the politics of living arrangements, from being arbitrarily denied spaces to rent, to the street and the politics of sleep. The city of Pune, economically and culturally a leading city in the state of Maharashtra, is one of the fastest growing cities in India and its growth is a factor of attraction for workers, professionals, students, and migrants from India as well as from East-Asia, the Middle-East and Africa. Pune becomes an interesting place to host a reflection on the potentialities, repercussions and consequences of such a movement of people and the development of Asian cities in the present time. At the same time, Pune's local situation can allude to a wider reality of, certainly more dramatic, migratory movements that are taking place in other parts of the world and the subsequent struggles for cohabitation.
The exhibition Habit-co-Habit aims to present different forms in which artists reflect on topics such as migration, cohabitation, adaptation, and assimilation.
Zasha Colah (Mumbai, 1982) is an art historian and curator. She co-founded the curatorial collaboratives and union of artists, Clark House in Bombay (2010), and Blackrice in Tuensang (2007-08). She has worked at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya as the Curator of Indian Modern Art (2009-2011) and as Coordinator of Public Programs at the National Gallery of Modern Art Mumbai (2004-2005).
Luca Cerizza (Milan, 1969) is a curator and writer, currently based in Berlin and Mumbai. His most recent curatorial projects include: "Tomas Saraceno: Cosmic Jive" (Museo di Villa Croce, Genova; 2014), "Kazuko Miyamoto. Bodily Tactics" (The Japan Foundation, Delhi, 2015), and co-curated "No, it wasn't the locust cloud', solo exhibition by Prabhakar Pachpute ( NGMA, Mumbai; 2016).