88 pages
Hardback / Clothbound
ISBN 13: 9783869305424
Publication date: March 2013
EUR 30.00

Dayanita Singh’s File Room is an elegy to paper in the age of the digitization of information and knowledge. The analogue photographer and bookmaker has a unique relationship with paper that is integral not only to the work of making of images, texts and memory, but also to a larger confrontation with chaos, mortality and disorder in the labyrinths of working bureaucratic archives in a country of more than a billion people. The endless rows of files in Indian courts, municipal offices, state archives and other such institutions for the conservation of human data create monuments to knowledge and to the arts of memory. They have their own atmosphere and architecture, rooted both in history and in the present. Archivists spend their lives organizing and conserving these forests of paper; historians and scholars forage in them for voices from the past; and the lives of ordinary men and women get entangled in the bureaucratic and litigious systems with their own copiousness of paperwork and files.

Including an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist that relates this book with Singh’s other books and bodies of work, and texts by Aveek Sen that explore the different ways in which the mad world of files and paperwork continue to touch ordinary lives, File Room is itself an archive of archives. It documents, and reflects on, the nature of paper as material and symbol in the work of making photographs and books.

Infinite Possibilities – Rachel Spence, Financial Times Online (, 26 April 2013

For Dayanita Singh, Photography as Literature – Mark Sheerin, Hyperallergic, 9 December 2013

How Close is Closer? Dayanita Singh: Go Away Closer – Ruth Rosengarten,, 2013

Dayanita Singh: Out of the picture – Somak Ghoshal,, 18 January 2014

An elegy to paper – Avantika Bhuyan, Business Standard, 22 March 2014

Interview: Dayanita Singh – Kingshuk Niyogy, TimeOut Delhi, 11 April 2014

Following the Paper Trail – Amrita Dutta, The Indian Express (Eye Magazine), 13 April 2014

An archive of archives – Himali Singh Soin, The Hindu, 3 May 2014

A panegyric to paper – Shougat Dasgupta, The Hindu Business Line (BLink), 4 July 2014

Mouldering Papers Are Us – Sudeep Sen, Outlook Magazine, 14 July 2014

An elegy to the age of paper
Uddalak Muhkerjee, The Telegraph, Sept 19 2014

Dayanita Singh – Himali Singh Soin,, 2014

Go Away Closer – Dayanita Singh at the MMK in Frankfurt – Art Mag by Deutsche Bank, 2014

Indian Artists Look Westward, and Homeward, at the Queens Museum – Holland Cotter, The New York Times, 4 June 2015 [A review of After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India, 1947/1997, a show in which File Room was shown as book-objects]