File Room

Dayanita Singh, File Room 2011

“Storage rooms filled with paper archives demonstrating the aftermath of human presence.”

Dayanita Singh’s grid of black & white photographs shows office back rooms in India, stacked with bundles of bureaucratic files, an archive from another time. It’s funny at first, in an alarming sort of way. Then you think about all the human experiences packed away in those bundles, the histories of lives, the struggles, circumstances, predicaments that are vetted and filtered in bureaucracies, which in India are notorious for red tape. The New York Times described the files in these pictures as “stacked like so many desiccated lives”.

File Room is showing at the Venice Biennale. Dayanita Singh is an Indian photographer working out of New Dehli. She often presents her work in book form and you can see them on her website here.

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