Surrounds

Dayanita Singh. Museum of Chance. 2013 665

162 pigmented inkjet prints and teak structures, Variable dimensions. Acquired with support from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, The Modern Women's Fund, and Committee on Photography Fund. © 2019 Dayanita Singh. Courtesy of the Frith Street Gallery, London

Artist, Dayanita Singh: Hi, I'm Dayanita Singh. I'm an artist and I work with photographs as my raw material.

Museum of Chance spans 30 years of my work. I think the idea came really from the frustration of exhibiting in museums and galleries - how do I get away from the wall? How can I change the space? And I thought okay, so I'll have to make my own form.

Museum of Chance displays prints in its panels on its outside. And when opened, reveals a reserve collection of prints stored inside. The museum can be shut completely, and you can still see images, or it can all be opened out and it takes over the entire room, or it can be emptied out and the images can be in boxes on the walls. It took me over two years to make. It had to work // in a way that you could just pick up an image from here and pick up an image from there and it should still work. Because in photography, you know that if you just shift one image, the whole narrative changes.

And the start of it was really the images made by chance, you know, from the corner of your eye, catches your attention. They couldn't be precise in what they showed or what they suggested. I had to be able to listen to the images. I had to be able to listen to the tone, precisely so that they could work in any combination.

They all had to have the quality of chance. They couldn't be precise in what they showed or what they suggested. And the start of it was really the images made by chance. You know, from the corner of your eye, catches your attention. I had to be able to listen to the images. I had to be able to listen to the tone, precisely so that they could work in any combination.

It's the documentary aspect of it that I'm completely addicted to. They are making a record of things that are disappearing. Photography is not just about seeing. It's about reading, it's about listening, and most of all about having some feeling. And so if I tell you the full story, what is there left for you to do?

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