MUSEUM OF CHANCE BOOK OBJECT


“While I was in London I dreamed that I was on a boat on the Thames, which took me to the Anandmayee Ma ashram in Varanasi. I climbed the stairs and found I had entered the hotel in Devigarh. At a certain time I tried to leave the fort but could not find a door. Finally I climbed out through a window and I was in the moss garden in Kyoto.”
-Dayanita Singh

Dayanita Singh’s Museum of Chance is a book about how life unfolds, and asks to be recorded and edited, along and off the axis of time. The inscrutably woven photographic sequence of Singh’s Go Away Closer has now grown into a labyrinth of connections and correspondences. The thread through this novel like web of happenings is that elusive entity called Chance. It is Chance that seems to disperse as well as gather fragments or clusters of experience, creating a form of simultaneity that is realised in the idea and matter of the book, with its interlaced or parallel timelines and patterns of recurrence and return.The eighty-eight quadratone images in the book appear on the front and back covers in random pairs, transforming each copy of the book into a distinct piece of work by the author. By adding a wooden frame that allows for the book to be placed on a wall, in the same way a photograph might be exhibited, Singh transforms these eighty-eight books into a work that is simultaneously book, art object, exhibition and catalogue. She turns the book itself into the art object: a work to be valued, looked at and read as such, rather than being simply regarded as a gathering of photographic reproductions.



Chancing Upon the Book of Art – Somak Ghoshal, Open Magazine, 20 February 2015

Celebration of Chance – Soity Banerjee, The Hindu Businessline (BLink), 20 February 2015

How the Book Has Become a Museum Piece – for its Own Good – S Prasannarajan, Open Magazine, 05 February 2016

Museum Bhavan: Dayanita Singh’s Photobooks and Their Ever-Evolving Narratives – Kriti Bajaj, Art Radar, 22 March 2016