Dayanita Singh is internationally acclaimed for breaking away from the print-on-the-wall tradition of art photography and creating unique mass-produced artist’s books. Used as a raw material, photography is a starting point for Singh, rather than an end in itself.
Creating structures to display as well as to house photographic prints has fascinated Singh ever since the making of Sent a Letter in 2007, with publisher Gerhard Steidl; a multi-volume mini-library-cum-exhibition of photo-books in its own slip-case. More recently, her book File Room(2013) attests to an obsessive interest in the personal processes and special strategies related to archiving.
Singh’s experiments with book-making have now led her to create this major new body of work. The design and architecture of the ‘museums’ is integral to the images they hold. Within what she has termed a“photo-architecture” Singh’s old and new images can be endlessly displayed,sequenced, edited and archived within the structures. They will continue to grow, as Singh keeps adding new work.
“Photography is not enough for me,” says Singh, “it is just my language. Unless I can make poetry out of it, or a novel, what good is all my vocabulary?”
The ‘museums’ create spaces of intimate engagement with the images as interconnected bodies of work, rather than single images. They display stories,themes and image-repertoires conceived by Singh from the vast archive of her own photographs as well as new taken images. Singh expands photography into the realm of not only fiction and poetry, but also of sculpture and architecture.