Since the 1980s, Dayanita Singh has pioneered a genre-defying approach to photography that pushes the limits of the medium. Dancing with my Camera presents the major phases of the internationally renowned artist’s oeuvre, from her earliest works through today. Along with key past works, including her “museums”, the new project, Let’s See, is especially realized for the Gropius Bau exhibition.
Singh’s black-and-white photographs create archives and spaces, presenting people and architectures from distinct backgrounds and geographies in states of interconnection. In her works, the photograph is only the raw material. By building mobile structures out of teak wood, her images are rearranged, recombined and re-experienced spatially; hers is a photography that both begins and ends with bodily experience.
Through a process of meticulous yet intuitive editing, Singh transforms her images into photo-architectures, montages and book objects – always guided by fluidity, music, choreography and movement. With her portable “museums” and book-objects, Singh has pioneered a form that is simultaneously a book, a catalogue and exhibition in itself. Singh shows how we can conceive of dynamic, mobile and accessible museums and exhibitions.
Dancing with my Camera is accompanied by an extensive catalog with scholarly essays, published by Hatje Cantz. The exhibition will tour to the Museum Villa Stuck, Munich; Musée d’art moderne Grand-Duc Jean – MUDAM, Luxemburg; Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto. Curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, Director, Gropius Bau.
About the Author
Born 1961, India, Dayanita Singh’s art uses photography to reflect and expand on the ways in which we relate to photographic images. Her recent work, drawn from her extensive photographic oeuvre, is 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, the museums present her 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 made in collaboration with Gerhard Steidl, she experiments with alternate forms of producing and viewing photographs. Here, Singh’s latest is the “book-object,” a work that is concurrently a book, an art object, an exhibition and a catalog. This work, also developing from the artist’s interest in the poetic and narrative possibility of sequence and re-sequence, allows Singh to both create photographic sequence and also simultaneously disrupt it.
Museum Bhavan has been shown at the Hayward Gallery, London (2013), the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2014), the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2014) and the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi (2016). Singh has also authored twelve books: Zakir Hussain (1986), Myself, Mona Ahmed (2001), Privacy (2003), Chairs (2005), Go Away Closer (2007), Sent A Letter (2008), Blue Book (2009), Dream Villa (2010), House of Love (2011), File Room (2013), Museum of Chance (2014) and Museum Bhavan (2016).
Dayanita Singh: Dancing with my Camera
18/03/2022 to 07/08/2022
Gropius Bau – Berlin – Germany