Go Away Closer. In each of the eight "photo architectures," made by the photographer, she is showing as many as 700 thematically arranged black-and-white photos from her archive of the last 30 years.
In a concentrated monographic exhibition, the MMK 3 of the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main is presenting the most recent workgroup by the internationally renowned photographer Dayanita Singh (b. 1961) for the first time in Germany.
Dayanita Singh is known above all for her elaborately designed artist's books, which she has always thought of as "portable museums." The artist refers to herself as "a bookmaker working with photography." The new, large-scale presentation form is a logical continuation of the book form. In each of the eight "photo architectures," made by Singh, she is showing as many as 700 thematically arranged black-and-white photos from her archive of the last 30 years. The structures bear such titles as "Museum of Little Ladies," "Museum of Embraces," "Museum of Furniture" or "Museum of Chance," and each tell their own story about a theme the artist has worked with. Standing in the exhibition room like open oversize books, each of the structures features a series of photographs which—here carefully edited and assembled in sequences by Singh—could theoretically be rearranged and supplemented in any number of ways.
In the exhibition, visitors can find their own individual paths through the "photo architectures" and interpret the photographs as they like. There is no pre-established sequence or museological hierarchy in the classical sense. The artist quite deliberately chooses not to label or date the individual photographs. "The play with the real and the fictional is what I am interested in," she says, and would like to challenge the MMK 3 visitors to question their own ways of seeing in the context of contemplating images.
Her photographs, which she processes with superb craftsmanship and great technical precision, are characterized by a balance between empathy and distance.
The exhibition is further enhanced by the artist's latest video work, Mona and Myself, which she produced for the German pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale. The video shows an intimate portrait of a friend who has been a companion to the artist for many years.
On the occasion of the exhibition at the MMK 3, Dayanita Singh created a new artist's book titled Museum of Chance. The clothbound book with 88 different cover illustrations presents one of the workgroups in the show, and is available for purchase in the museum shop.
Image: Go Away Closer, 2013
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