Dayanita Singh: Privacy
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Portraits of India's unseen elites behind closed doors
After many years spent documenting poverty in her homeland, Dayanita Singh (born 1961) began to ask herself: what can a photographer in India document that is neither catastrophic nor "the exotic"? Her answer was to portray the flipside--India's well-to-do families and their fine homes. Both on commission and on her own, she created a portrait of another side of Indian society--one from which she hails--complete with its traditional and postcolonial symbols of wealth.
India's wealthy elite is virtually unknown to the West. First published in 2004, Privacy depicts a closed world characterized by tight family solidarity. Singh shows the people as they would like to see themselves, in the middle of splendidly decorated rooms and surrounded by possessions. At a certain point in her work, Singh realized that even without their residents, the rooms were occupied by the invisible generations that had lived there before. Accordingly, the book closes with photographs of empty interiors.
128 pages, Hardcover, June 2023.
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