Hayward Gallery presents a landmark project in the artistic life of Dayanita Singh, one of today's foremost photographers.
Dayanita Singh is internationally acclaimed for breaking away from the print-on-the-wall tradition of art photography and creating unique mass-produced artist's books. Used as a raw material, photography is a starting point for Singh, rather than an end in itself. Go Away Closer is the first major UK retrospective of Singh's work, which investigates and challenges the boundaries and practice of photography as an artistic medium.
The exhibition brings together Singh's artistic oeuvre from the past decades and her portable 'museums', a major new body of work which has developed from her experiments in book-making. Singh's portable 'museums' are large wooden structures which can be placed and opened in various configurations, each holding 70 to 140 photographs. Within what she has termed a "photo-architecture", her images are endlessly displayed, sequenced, edited and archived within the structures.
The 'museums' create spaces to intimately engage with her photographs as interconnected bodies of work, rather than single images. They display stories, themes and related sequences, fashioned by Singh from her vast archive as well as from new photographs. With these objects, Singh expands photography into the realm of not only sculpture and architecture, but also of fiction and poetry.
Go Away Closer also includes Singh's significant early series of works and artist's books, as well as the recent video work Mona and Myself, her first "moving still".
Zeiss Ikon 1996, 2013
Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London
© The artist 2013