Singh’s ‘Asiatic Library Reading Room, Bombay’ (2000)
Fascinating article about Indian photographer Dayanita Singh. Her work and life is worth noticing.
“Photography is not enough for me; it’s just my language but unless I can make poetry out of it, or a novel, what good is all [my] vocabulary? Photography is 10 per cent of the work. The rest is all the reading, all the films you are watching … ”
Another cornerstone is friendship. Although she guards her solitude, she stresses that “conversations are enormously important”. Her close friends include writers Vikram Seth and Aveek Sen – who has written the text for her latest book House of Love. “If one says ‘I am going to Libya next week’, I will go because I get so much from that conversation.”
Those rapports feed into artworks such as Chairs (2005), the book that was distributed in sets of 10 to friends with instructions to give them to recipients of their choice.
Such a notion begs comparison with more overtly conceptual artists such as Alighiero Boetti. Also of the moment is Singh’s fascination with archives, which inspired her recent custom of displaying photographs in specially made structures. Impeccably crafted in teak, they are simultaneously cabinets and filing systems that permit the owner to change the sequences; to tell their own story using Singh’s lexicon.
For more information: Financial Times