An Evening About Amar Kanwar

Artist and social activist Amar Kanwar investigates in his deeply unsettling yet poignant work the nature of oppression and the courageous resistance of an oppressed people. Selene Wendt, curator of the exhibition A Sheet of Paper Can Become a Knife, will give introductions to two of his films, A Season Outside and Such a Morning. There will be a 15-minute break prior to Such a Morning.

a season outside

Amar Kanwar used a border conflict area between India and Pakistan as the basis for a deeply personal and philosophical essay film on the multiple forms of violence and nonviolence. Kanwar’s A Season Outside (1997, 35') opens with the closing of the border gate near Wagah-Atari, a ceremony that incites aggressive nationalism on both sides. This enacted conflict shows how physical aggression can infect cultures as well as individuals.

such a morning

A renowned professor of mathematics resigns out of the blue and retires to the wilderness, where he moves into a deserted railway carriage. Such A Morning (2017, 85'), which previously featured at Documenta 14, poses the existential question of how to live in the past.

Selene Wendt is the curator of an exhibition currently showing at the Prince Claus Fund Gallery, A Sheet of Paper Can Become a Knife. This evening is co-organized by Eye and the Prince Claus Fund as part of her exhibition and Eye’s exhibition A Tale of Hidden Histories.

about Amar Kanwar

Amar Kanwar (New Delhi, 1964) received the Prince Claus award in 2017. Kanwar is an artist, filmmaker and social activist committed to making art in reaction to social injustice. He uses his films and multimedia installations to explore such issues as power politics, violence, ecology, sexuality and justice. His work often draws on stories from conflict areas.

To increase the impact of his work, Kanwar makes sure his films reach a wide audience, from local film clubs and organizations that support conflict-ridden communities to exhibitions and film festivals across the world. His work demonstrates the importance of resistance, both individually and collectively, and the power of poetry and art to expose injustice. 

photos 1 & 2:
Amar Kanwar
A Season Outside, 1997
(Video still)
Video, colour, Sound, English, 30min
Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

photos 3, 4 & 5:
Amar Kanwar
Such a Morning, 2017
(Video still)
Single channel digital video, colour, sound; 85 min. looped
Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery