Museum of Photography
Dayanita Singh Indian
Not on view
One of India’s leading contemporary artists, Singh is best known for her innovative photo-books and experiments with various forms of photographic display. For her Museum Bhavan series, which she began in 2013, she created handcrafted wooden architectural structures, each of which houses a thematically related selection of photographs drawn from her own archive. The arrangement of the photographs on the structure is fluid and variable. Each time the work is displayed, a new configuration of images can be created, allowing for the elaboration of sub-themes and the generation of new meanings.
The Museum of Photography features 81 photographs of rooms across India in which vernacular photographs—family portraits, celebrities, political idols—are displayed on walls or on shelves. In the broadest sense, the works speaks to the dual nature of photography as both image and object, and the role that physical photographs play in the lives of individuals. The distinctive role of photography in India is apparent in the many images of people cradling adorned and garlanded images of deceased family members, and of ancestor portraits hung close to the ceiling as a sign of veneration.