MOTY 2014 Winner

Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories

A Love Story, 2010, courtesy Amar Kanwar and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris.


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The Scene of Crime, 2011

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The Sovereign Forest (handmade book with projection), 2012–

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The Sovereign Forest (handmade book with projection), 2012–

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Listening Bench, 2013 courtesy the artist. Photo Jonty Wilde

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The Sovereign Forest, 2012–. Courtesy the artist. Photo Jonty Wilde.

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The Six Mourners & The One Alone, 2011. Courtesy the artist. Photo Jonty Wilde

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11.10.13 - 02.02.14
Underground Gallery and open air
YSP presents the first major UK exhibition of work by internationally acclaimed artist Amar Kanwar. The exhibition, in YSP’s Underground Gallery, centres on The Sovereign Forest (2012–), which explores the impact of mining and other commercial activities on the landscape and communities of Odisha (formerly Orissa), India.

 

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Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories

More Information

The Sovereign Forest is an enquiry into an understanding of crime, politics, human rights and ecology in a constellation of moving and still images, texts, books, pamphlets, objects, and seeds.

Artist and social activist, Amar Kanwar is renowned for his compelling and meditative filmic essays, which evolve from documentary practice and explore the political, social, economic and ecological conditions of the Indian subcontinent. His multimedia works question the validity of historical ‘facts’ without human stories and poetry becomes a subtle but powerful force. Having journeyed through distress and dislocation, the works of The Sovereign Forest frequently return to the natural world and the implication of its ability to nurture and heal. Kanwar points to possible routes by which we can navigate.

The Sovereign Forest continuously reincarnates as an art installation, an exhibition, a library, a memorial, a public trial, an open call for the collection of more ‘evidence’, an archive and also a proposition for a space that engages with political issues as well as with art. Largely connected to mining rights in the Indian region of Odisha, The Sovereign Forest has a particular resonance at YSP since the estate is situated above the Yorkshire coalfield and is ringed by former, now destitute, mining towns.

The exhibition debuts a new element of The Sovereign Forest and a commission by the artist especially for YSP. The Listening Benches are Kanwar’s first sculptural objects for the open air, sited around YSP’s Bothy Garden, a place for rest, pause and contemplation overlooking the 18th century Bretton Estate.

The associated public programme includes opportunities for all ages to delve into the themes and issues of Kanwar’s work and their relevance within contemporary society. There will be a focus on YSP’s woodland ecology through information, tours and workshops as well as a special session convened to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike to consider the historical and continued impact of mining internationally and locally.

To coincide with the exhibition we are working with National Coal Mining Museum for England (NCMME) to invite people to share their memories of mining, its impact on their lives and communities. Find out more



Comments
An exceptional exhibition in an establishment where the standard is always world-class anyway. Beautiful, moving, poetic and politically-engaged in equally excellent measure. And if you don't agree, there's always the cafe to make up for your disappointment.
Nick Revell on Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories | See all (10) comments
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The most moving exhibition I have seen for some time. In a world where artists pursue ever more banal subjects here is someone using their art to highlight issues of serious importance. Thank you.
Robin Wood on Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories
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I found the film of The Sovereign Forest most moving and meditative
Anonymous on Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories
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WOW. Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories. The most soul-crushingly, hopelessly, powerful/beautiful of things.
Heather Griffiths via Twitter on Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories
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A beautiful and thought-provoking exhibition
Paul Simkins via Twitter on Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories
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Really moved by The Sovereign Forest at YSP. Video books are so moving, no pun intended. Why is artist Amar Kanwar not better known?
Paul Bridges via Twitter on Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories
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Never appreciated life as much as I have after seeing an exhibition by Amar Kanwar at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Liv via Twitter on Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories
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Amar Kanwar at YSP beautiful, poetic and layered telling of stories about living in India now, with universal resonances – extraordinary.
Helen Parrott via Twitter on Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories
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The Amar Kanwar exhibition was beautiful and moving and the world should see it!
Krys Craik on Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories
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One of the most powerful exhibitions I've seen in years. Many, many thanks.
Jo Mallows on Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories
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