In a digital world, seeing endless rows of bunched up paper, stored in huge metal shelves, is a rather bizarre sight. We expect everything nowadays to be stored on a tiny memory stick, or hidden deep within the Internet. We expect it to be invisible. What Dayanita Singh gives us with File Room, is the visible and the tangible. The book, which is simply designed and laid out, is a tribute to paper in a digital world. It is a fascinating, unique look into the back rooms of Indian courts, municipal offices, state archives and other similar institutions, where the storage of paper is still so important. An interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist, art critic and curator, sets the work in context with Dayanita’s other projects, and text by Aveek Sen explores the different ways in which the dying world of files and paperwork continue to affect us.
Reviewed by Matthew Oxley
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