The Ajeeb Ghar Archive is a research project on museums in India, constituted of photographs of exhibition galleries and comments found in their visitors’ books. Exploring different aspects of this post-colonial institution, this project invites us to look attentively at how works of arts and artefacts are arranged and installed in space, while casting a light on the idiosyncratic relationship that each visitor entertains with the display of their own cultural past and heritage.
Since I embarked into this long-term documentary work in 2017, I have built an archive of around 11,000 photos and 700 comments, so far collected in 41 public and private institutions across 20-odd cities. While the long-term objective remains to document a total of about 200 places, I have now conceived a first ‘activation’ of this archive, under the form of a book-object : titled A Visitor’s Book, its narrative is primarily driven by the subjective nature of our relationship to images as spectator, as well as the sedimentary nature of our memory: how do we build our own “imaginary museum” and would this, in return, shape our perception of reality and the everyday?
In 2021, I began the dissemination of this work, in the form of an in-situ installation centred around a book.