Dayanita Singh’s Pothi Khana: Archive Room
November 12, 2021 - April 10, 2022
For Pothi Khana (Hindi for “archive room”), photographic artist Dayanita Singh (b. New Delhi, India, 1961) challenges the perceived limitations of her medium, literally taking photographs “off the wall” and into modular teakwood structures. In this example of what the artist describes as “photo-architecture,” Singh documents India’s vast, bureaucratic government archives, revealing shelf upon shelf of cloth-wrapped stacks of paper—bundles that reflect longstanding cultural practices of preservation and knowledge keeping. Pothi Khana dramatizes the experience of a secluded archive, inviting viewers to wander among its tower-like structures and find their own places within a boundless universe of knowledge.