© Dayanita Singh
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society’s Acquisitions Scheme for University of Warwick, 2012
This photograph is from Singh’s 2009 work Blue Book, based on her travels to various industrial sites in India which was published as a portfolio of 23 postcards (as well as a touring gallery exhibition of larger C-prints). The subject of this work at first seems an unpromising one for an artist who had formerly concentrated on the personal and autobiographical. The factories, structures and machinery she encountered fascinated her, conveying a sense of coldness and melancholy which she captured by photographing at night, excluding evidence of human presence.
Initially Singh was using black and white film for this project but when photographing the first factory at sunset she decided to try some daylight colour film she had with her, later finding that the printed images were infused with an exaggerated blue tone which conveyed perfectly the melancholy atmosphere of the scene. She continued using this technique as she recorded other vacant interior and exterior scenes which have been described as an elegy to a passing industrial era.