Exhibitions > 2009 > Blue Book

Blue Book 36, 2009, c-type analog print


In Blue Book, Dayanita Singh offers a dazzling sequence of unpopulated industrial vistas and interior spaces, her perfectly composed frames evoking the history of painting – from still-life to colour-field.  Hand-printed from negatives using traditional techniques, Singh's photographs are never digitally produced or tweaked with the use of filters. In Blue Book, she capitalizes on the propensity of daylight colour film to enhance blue tones in certain conditions and uses it to curious advantage. From electric - to an almost-white blue, the different shades in the photographs are as real as they are illusory. 

\"To open Blue Book with the close, warm gloom of a Flemish still life is to give to its subsequent freeing of space a specifically interior origin. The mesmeric allure of the eye being able to see as far as it can begins with the peculiar oppressiveness of inhabited spaces. This painterly quality also tunes the eye, from the very beginning, to get away from colour as it is habitually seen in photography. So, not only is colour linked to tone and feeling, but it also becomes a principle of beauty. We savour its lushness and delicacy even as we respond to the desolation of the vistas or the coldness of the interiors, and these conflicting responses take us far beyond categories like 'industrial photography'.\"

Aveek Sen, Calcutta, May 2009



Dayanita Singh