'Suitcase Museum' is a collection of 44 framed book covers stored in a pair of suitcases presented as part of the installation. Each book can stand on its own or be installed on a wall. The book covers are from Dayanita Singh’s ongoing 'Museum of Chance' project started in the late 1980s. The images are presented in a chance rather than pre-defined thematic or chronological order, allowing the stories told and their interpretation, as well as the connections between images, to change with each installation.
These mobile museums, or museums within museums, can be arranged in multiple ways and reflect the artist’s interest in archives and the visual preservation of moments through photographs. As a photographer, Singh works primarily with black and white images, and with the model of the book. Among her earliest works was a book of images of musician Zakir Hussain and his circle (1986).
The books Singh creates are works of art in themselves, rather than serving as casings in which to store photographic images. They elegantly capture moments in Indian life, from rooms of files in archival storage to museum visitors and reclining couples.
44 framed book covers, 2 suitcases
34.5 x 30.5 cm each framed book cover; 40.5 x 96.5 x 35.6 cm each suitcase :
a - frame 1; 34.5 x 30.5 cm
b - book 1; 33 x 28.5 cm
c - frame 2
Purchased with funds provided by Geoff Ainsworth AM and Johanna Featherstone
© Dayanita Singh
Shown in 1 exhibition
Fearless: contemporary South Asian art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 21 Jul 2018–13 Jan 2019