October 20, 2022–March 19, 2023
Opening : October 19, 7–10pm
The Dayanita Singh retrospective at Museum Villa Stuck is the most thorough one to date. Singh is a well-known artist whose work stands out within the history of photography. Singh uses photography as her medium, but she constantly aims to push the boundaries of the medium with her conceptual and performative methods.
Singh has been photographing a variety of themes for the past 40 years, primarily in black and white. Her long-standing obsession with music, the evolution of Indian civilization, friendships, gender norms, and a variety of other topics are all reflected in them. However, Singh is never interested in the particular image; rather, she is interested in the links that emerge between pictures.
Dayanita Singh describes herself as a “offset artist,” or a somebody who creates work for public consumption. Her early body of work evolved into book-length undertakings. The turning of the pages in publications allows her to keep the visuals flowing as she blends her photographs into unique storylines. The books themselves continue to move because they are portable items that may be brought into any location.
She has created a number of modular display structures over time, particularly through her investigation of the exhibition medium, that make it simple to move between images while also connecting them geographically to one another and the audience. She refers to these adaptable buildings as “museums.” They feature a variety of images that can be displayed in constantly evolving constellations. Depending on which elements are to be visible, each component can be moved; images that aren’t being displayed are preserved inside. As a result, museums contain their own art depot. Singh frequently uses (suit-)cases to transport her museums, thereby underscoring the central role of movement in her work—both as a theme and as a reflection of the many different approaches to art and forms of dissemination and presentation of her work.
In the exhibition, ambassadors periodically activate particular museums. This implies that both the individual images and the modular constructions themselves will be repeatedly shifted and rearranged. As a result, the exhibition will continue to change over the coming weeks and offer visitors a new perspective.
The most thorough publication on Singh’s work to date, the exhibition’s printed materials include a German and English catalog as well as an edition Singh specifically designed for the show. Texts by Teju Cole, Kajri Jain, Ahona Palchoudhurim, and Thomas Weski are among those in the catalog. Additionally, Steidl created a large-format poster that Singh intended to be a piece that guests could take home with them.
About the artist
Dayanita Singh (b. 1961, New Delhi) is one of the most important artists working today. She studied visual communication at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad and photojournalism and documentary photography at the International Center of Photography in New York. Singh first worked as a photojournalist before devoting herself fully to her own projects. Today she sees herself as an “offset artist”: a maker of books working with photographs. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including at the Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern in London, the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in New Delhi, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum and the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. She has shown her work at the Guangzhou Biennial (2008), Manifesta (2008), and the Kochi Biennale (2014); in 2013 Singh’s work was featured alongside that of other artists in the German pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In 2022 Singh received the Hasselblad Award, which will presented to her on October 14, 2022, in Göteborg, Sweden.
The exhibition is organized by Gropius Bau in collaboration with Museum VILLA STUCK, Munich, Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxemburg, and Serralves Museum, Porto.
Curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, Helena Pereña and Sabine Schmid
Museum Villa Stuck
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm