Amar Kanwar

(1964, New Delhi, India. Lives and works in New Delhi, India)

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The Sovereign Forest

(Film, books, multiple media of variable dimensions.)

The Sovereign Forest attempts to reopen discussion and initiate a creative response to our understanding of crime, politics, human rights and ecology. The validity of poetry as evidence in a trial, the discourse on seeing, on understanding, on compassion, on issues of justice, sovereignty and the determination of the self – all come together in a constellation of evidence, of moving and still images, texts, books, pamphlets,
albums, music, objects, seeds, events and processes.

The central film, titled The Scene of Crime offers an experience of landscape just prior to erasure as territories marked for acquisition by industries. Almost every image in this film lies within specific territories that are proposed industrial sites and are in the process of being acquired by government and corporations in Orissa. Every location, every blade of grass, water
source, tree that is seen in the film is now meant to not exist anymore. The Scene of Crime is an experience of ‘looking’ at the terrain of this conflict and the personal lives that exist within this natural landscape.

The Sovereign Forest also invites visitors to contribute a photograph, a film, a document, a text, an object, seed, cloth, pattern, drawing, or any ‘evidence’ in any form to the constellation of evidence presented. As the installation travels this library of evidence increases and parts are added. The Sovereign Forest is also permanently installed at the Samadrusti Campus in Bhubaneswar, Odisha and open to the public at any time, every day.

 

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