Dayanita Singh's art uses photography to reflect and expand on the ways in which we relate to photographic images.
Her recent works, drawn from her extensive photographic oeuvre, are a series of mobile museums that allow her images to be endlessly edited, sequenced, archived and displayed. Stemming from Singh's interest in the archive, her installations present photographs as interconnected bodies of work that are replete with both poetic and narrative possibilities. Publishing is also a significant part of the artist's practice: in her books, often published without text, Singh extends her experiments on alternate forms of producing and viewing photographs.
Pothi Khana (2018) was originally exhibited at the recent Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, USA. The title is a generic term for an archive room, usually where papers are kept in cloth bundles.The installation occupies Frith Street Gallery's ground floor space and is composed of tower-like structures which are themselves built from large, open cubes. Lining the sides of these wood-framed structures are photos slotted into hidden grooves. The work is made to a modular design that in theory allows for the endless rearrangement of the stackable cubes and swapping of photographs. Installed here in the gallery the work invites the viewer to sit, study or rest. In addition to Pothi Khana, Singh will show works from her new Montage series. Here the artist draws upon her recent works with architecture to create intriguing composite photographs which explore space and memory.
Beginning from Tuesday 1 October the lower gallery will contain a display of drawings from the archive of celebrated Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa (1919–2013), in collaboration with the Geoffrey Bawa Trust. Singh has long been fascinated by Bawa's particular style of modernism, tailored as it was to the specific environment of South Asia and Southeast Asia. In celebration of the centenary of Bawa's birth the artist has also produced a book object entitled Box 507 and during the week of the Frieze Art Fair (1–5 October) Singh will be in residence at the gallery selling this work. Box 507 takes the form of 30 unbound image cards of Bawa's interiors. The piece is in an edition of 360 and is available only in its exhibition format, it is to be acquired directly off the wall. In this way the exhibition disappears over time and when the boxes are sold, the edition and the exhibition are over.
Box 507: A Pop Up Project with Dayanita Singh in collaboration with the Geoffrey Bawa Trust
1–5 October 2019
Dayanita Singh was born in 1961. She studied Visual Communication at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad and Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the International Center of Photography in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include: The 57th Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2018; Museum Bhavan, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo, 2017 and Suitcase Museum, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, 2016. Recent awards include the 2018 International Center of Photography Infinity Award: Artist's Book for Museum Bhavan and the 2017 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards: PhotoBook of the Year for Museum Bhavan. Dayanita Singh lives and works in New Delhi.