February 29, 2016

Museum Bhavan: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

by Shashi Prakash Vyas

Images by Simon White

Dayanita Singh has been preoccupied for some years now with evolving a portable architectural form that can function both as a site for display, and a repository for her photographs. Museum Bhavan, currently on display at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in Delhi, are conceived as mutable structures with extendable limbs that are self-sufficient assemblies designed to display, preserve, and store her photographs while in rest.

The artist physically manoeuvres these flexible structures to transform into facades, columns, doors, niches, and empty scaffolds, altering their orientation and position in relation to the exhibition space. Though the designed grid is predetermined in its square and rectangular frames, the image-sequence is never meant to be either permanent or complete.


File Museum and LIttle Ladies Museum, Museum Bhavan



Museum of Chance, Museum Bhavan

The re-energizing of navigational paths and reconfiguring of images dismiss a singular interpretation or a permanent composition of the Museum Bhavan. The visual spectacle takes on the dimension of photo-architecture, ruptures a complacent optical viewing of the photographs, both physically and conceptually, accentuating shifting angles of perception, obstructive viewing, overlapping of grids and sometimes empty frames, bringing into active play the experience of the inside and outside, back and front, body and space.


Museum of Furniture, Museum Bhavan

The labyrinth of images, never complete from any single viewing position facilitates a sifting through time. Its linearity is displaced by the reshuffling of memories and moments, allowing chance encounters and the discovery of fresh associations between the unexpected to take over in the placing and replacing of the photographs.

The viewer’s vantage point is unsettled and always vulnerable with Dayanita expanding the possibilities of composing, viewing, and interpreting images in endless ways.


Museum of Machines, Museum Bhavan

The exhibition presents Dayanita’s “museums within the Museum” as self-sufficient structures that function as sites of display, preservation, circulation, and storage along with bringing together photographs spanning decades of her artistic oeuvre.


Museum of Photography, Museum Bhavan


Museum of Photography, Museum Bhavan


Museum Bhavan by Dayanita Singh is on view till 30th March, 2016 at Conversation Chambers, Kiran Nadar Museum of ArtWe featured the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in Kyoorius 24.

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