This exhibition travels in a suitcase and even in your pocket

JAN 9, 2017 | By Aditi Sharma Maheshwari
Exhibitions are short lived – they go up on show, generate a lot of buzz and vanish till another date and time when they can be viewed again. The same doesn’t hold true for Delhi based photographer, Dayanita Singh’s show Suitcase Museum, curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, Managing Trustee & Honorary Director at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai. This is one display that isn’t restricted by space, time and location. Wondering how?
Bringing together the artist’s compelling images are displays showing absence, loss, pain and loneliness. Inside the Industrial Arts Gallery section, she presents a hall full of her photographic works titled Museum of Chance – the original museum through which grew other forms of displays – like the Museum of Shedding, at the Bajaj Gallery on the first floor. Here you can witness miniaturised versions of her images, which teach you to unload the past and find that balance that comes after years of practice.
Within the same space, she also proposes Time Measures – a collection of artwork style portraits that each depict secret lives, hidden meanings and untold stories. Finally, the Pocket Museum pushes the envelope and offers other forms of looking at an exhibition – through a pocket sized book and archives that contain a collection of all her iconic photographs.
“I wanted to create a place with a collection that can keep growing – an artwork doesn’t allow for that. This is why Museum of Chance is an ongoing show – from this I made a book and then found a structure to put the books on the wall. I also discovered a way to fit 44 of these tomes into two suitcases, which means I get to travel with it. If I want to do an exhibition anywhere in the world, it’s possible! The Pocket museum has within it nine miniature museums – it shows you how to take the museum out of four walls and personalise it! You too can create a Pocket Museum from your own collections for memorabilia – this is a new way of looking and viewing art,” shares Dayanita.
On the launch of Pocket Musuem, a discussion on the “Museum as an artistic form and practice” took place on December 22, 2016, between Homi Bhabha – a Professor of English and American Literature and Language, and the Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University, Dayanita Singh and Tasneem Mehta.
When: Till February 21, 2017
Where: Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla East, Mumbai 27
Also read: A list of must-see art shows this season