The MAST Foundation presents the first solo exhibition in Italy of Dayanita Singh, one of the most relevant figures in contemporary photography.
Born in Delhi in 1961, Dayanita Singh is an acknowledged protagonist of the international art scene and one of the rare Indian photographers who is known all over the world. She is the author of a very peculiar set of works that reflect an extraordinarily personal vision of her country although it explores themes that transcend geographical borders.
The artist has developed a very original form of displaying her photographs. Using a series of interior design components made of wood—folding screens, carts and tables—she assembles what she herself calls “museums.” These are mobile, portable structures that allow her to lend new configurations and new meanings to her works.
The exhibition organised at the MAST Foundation and conceived by its PhotoGallery curator, Urs Stahel, takes its name from the Museum of Machines, a recent acquisition of the MAST Collection. It proposes about 400 photographs organised in series—in addition to Museum of Machines, there are also Museum of Industrial Kitchen, Office Museum, Museum of Printing Press, Museum of Men and File Museum, together with a few other works—that tell stories about labour and production; life, its daily management and its archiving. Enormous machines that smoke and steam, working methods and processes, spaces for the execution and organisation of work are presented in a near labyrinthine fashion thanks to the articulate and original display mode. The photographs not only depict production environments, but also create psychological scenarios in which we recognise experiences, suffering and hope.
At level 0 of the MAST PhotoGallery Dayanita Singh presents the book Museum of Chance, consisting of a body of 88 photographs that are also used as images for 44 different covers. Each cover is illustrated on the front and back with two randomly-paired photographs. The 44 volumes thus become an exhibition piece, a distinct, unique work of art that together with the suitcase and the display structure form the installation Suitcase Museum.
The exhibition also includes with Archives and Factories, two projections of other images by Dayanita Singh, and with the installation of the book Museum of Chance.