20 October 2022–19 March 2023
Dayanita Singh: Dancing with my Camera is now open at Museum Villa Stuck, Munich – the second touring venue of the most comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s work to date. The exhibition occupies all three floors of the museum’s new studio, bringing together Singh’s work as an ‘offset artist’ with her Montages and iconic ‘mobile museums’, once again reconfigured and rearranged specifically for Villa Stuck’s galleries.
Singh’s work also occupies the historical rooms of the museum, positioned uniquely in dialogue with Franz von Stuck's works and living quarters. Little Ladies Museum 1961–present (2013) temporarily gains a new set of characters in the little ladies whose portraits surround the museum, while the prince’s musical rooms are taken over by Singh’s Museum of Tanpura (2021). The painter prince and his family meet people from Singh's life and work such as her mentor and tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain, and Mona Ahmed, the artist’s closest friend and companion since 1989.
Book Building: Dayanita Singh and Gerhard Steidl
Saturday 21 October 2022, 3pm
What’s the difference between building a book and simply making one? In this talk Dayanita Singh and her longtime printer and publisher Gerhard Steidl share the secrets of their collaboration. A self-declared “offset artist”, Singh calls Steidl her “co-conspirator” and together they craft publications that redefine the book as an object and its place in the worlds of art and publishing. For them a book is a mobile concept patiently realized in diverse forms – as a suite of accordion-fold booklets in a clamshell box, as a visual novel, a book with 88 cover variations, a collection of postcards, a fold-out poster…
Using offset lithography as a creative medium, Singh and Steidl print images of a quality that matches traditional exhibition prints. Singh accordingly displays her books in unorthodox ways that recast the boundaries of the museum/gallery and publishing: for example installing accordion booklets as the exhibition itself, and inviting buyers of the book to do the same at home – and thus become curators of her work. Based on intuition, a passion for analogue processes, a deep understanding of materials, a healthy suspicion of convention and not a little humour, Singh and Steidl’s book building is both a blueprint and inspiration for all photographers working in book form.