In Museum Bhavan Dayanita Singh creates a new space between publishing and the museum, an experience where books have the same if not greater artistic value than prints hanging on a gallery wall. Consisting of nine individual “museums” in book form, Museum Bhavan is a miniature version of Singh’s traveling exhibition of the same name whose prints are placed in folding expanding wooden structures (her “photo-architecture”), which she likes to interchange at will.
The images in Museum Bhavan—old and new, intriguingly literal and suggestive—have been intuitively grouped into lyrical chapters in a visual story such as “Little Ladies Museum” and “Ongoing Museum,” as well as more specific series like “Museum of Machines.” Following her Sent a Letter(2008), the starting point for this project, the books are housed in a handmade box and fold out into accordion-like strips which Singh encourages viewers to install and curate as they wish in their own homes. The exhibition thus becomes a book, and the book becomes an exhibition.
> Dayanita Singh was born in New Delhi in 1961 and studied at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad and the International Center of Photography in New York. Singh’s exhibitions include those at the Serpentine Gallery in London, Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, the Hayward Gallery in London, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt. In 2013 Singh represented Germany at the Venice Biennale. Bookmaking is central to her practice. Singh’s books with Steidl include Privacy (2004), Go Away Closer(2007), Sent a Letter (2008), Dream Villa (2010), File Room (2013) and Museum of Chance (2014).