BUILDING MUSEUM BHAVAN

© Simon White-Museum of Chance Hayward Shot C
Starting with Sent a Letter  I began to explore the idea of the book as an exhibition. This led me in 2013 to the Museum bhavan. I think I had always known the book was my form, the tactile book that you held in your hands The Zakir book had no exhibition, no prints on the wall, but it took me 30 years to find a form that allowed me to free my images from the wall, from the matt and the frame and making both the display and the sequencing endlessly changing.This came in the form of the mobile museums.
Perhaps the most crucial process is not the photography but the editing. I think I work backwards, I collect images over months and years and then at a certain time, I stop and start to look at the material, and weed out, till the bare structure remains.Then I find the form, rather the form reveals itself in this editing process.
Museum Bhavan will occupy KNMA in Dec 2015. The manifesto of the Museum is below-

Museum Bhavan is a collection of museums made by Dayanita Singh. Permanently installed at Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, the museums will, however, travel to other venues. This is their inaugural tour, and once they return  home, they will be open to the public on the first and second full moon of each year. At other times, they may be viewed by appointment only, or through a large window that lets people look into the Bhavan without entering it.

The Bhavan will have an archivist-in-residence programme, and organize seminars on nano-museums every two years. It will have its own travelling museum shop and book-cart. Each museum will also have its own trustees and ambassadors. There will be an ongoing catalogue, compiled by the Museum Editor, from found and commissioned texts. Museum Bhavan has a publications programme with Steidl, which started with Museum of Chance in 2014.

The museums hold within them old and new images made by Dayanita Singh. These images are endlessly displayed, sequenced, edited and archived in the museums by the artist herself. The design and architecture of the museums, are integral to the images shown and kept in them. Each large, wooden, handmade structure can be placed and opened in different ways. It holds around a hundred framed images, some on view, while others wait for their turn in the reserve collection, also kept inside the structures. All the museums have smaller structures within them, which can be displayed inside the museum or on the wall.

The museums sometimes form small chambers, with their own tables and benches, for reflection and conversation; they can also be joined to one another to form a labyrinth. As Singh keeps adding images to the museums, the museums themselves could give birth to other museums. For example, the Museum of Embraces comes out of the Museum of Chance, and the Museum of Vitrines is contained within the Museum of Furniture.

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BUILDING MUSEUM BHAVAN

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