House of Love.
Photographs by Dayanita Singh. Prose by Aveek Sen.
Radius Books, 2010. 172 pp., 106 color and black & white illustrations, 6¼x9¾".
House of Love is a work of photographic fiction that takes the form of nine short stories. Working closely with writer Aveek Sen, whose prose follows a journey of its own, Singh explores the relationship between photography, memory, and writing. House of Love, designed to blur the lines between an art book of photographic images and a work of literary fiction, is a book whose images demand to be read, not just seen, and whose texts create their own sensory worlds. The combination creates a new vocabulary for the visual book.
The “House of Love” itself is the Taj Mahal, but the Taj Mahal as a recurring motif that stands for a range of meanings—meanings made up of the truths and lies of night and day, love and illusion, attachment and detachment. Through images of cities both visible and invisible, people real and surreal, Singh creates her own mysterious and ineffable, strange yet familiar language, using her trademark black-and-white photography and her newer nocturnal color work.
Read Adam Bell's review of House of Love in photo-eye Magazine.