Forma

we are opposite like that

The London and Delhi-based artist works across text, performance and moving image, using the natural environment as a metaphor for speculative cosmologies, revealing entanglements between human and non-human life. 

With ‘we are opposite like that’ Singh Soin situates us in the Arctic and Antarctic circles to explore urgent questions about the environment, history and myth. Part of an ongoing series of interdisciplinary works that comprises fictional mythologies for the poles, it is told from the non-human perspective of an elder that has witnessed deep time: the ice. 

The artist pairs poetry and archival material to recount the Victorian anxiety of an imminent glacial epoch. The disorienting fear of an invasive periphery sent shudders through the colonial enterprise, the tremors of which can be felt in contemporary times. Here, an alien figure traverses the blank, oblivious whiteness, and undergoes an Ovidian transformation into glimmering ice. Inspired by field recordings, an original score for string quartet creates an etheric soundscape of hissing glaciers and the hard timbre of the wind, interspersed with melodic fragments of Victorian composer, Edward Elgar’s ‘The Snow’. ‘we are opposite like that’ beckons the ghosts hidden in landscapes and turns them into echoes, listening in on the resonances of potential futures.


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we are opposite like that

Himali Singh Soin
3 - 6 October 2019

Himali Singh Soin, winner of the Frieze Artist Award 2019, premieres a new film exploring environment, history and myth co-commissioned by Forma for Frieze London 2019.

The London and Delhi-based artist works across text, performance and moving image, using the natural environment as a metaphor for speculative cosmologies, revealing entanglements between human and non-human life. 

With ‘we are opposite like that’ Singh Soin situates us in the Arctic and Antarctic circles to explore urgent questions about the environment, history and myth. Part of an ongoing series of interdisciplinary works that comprises fictional mythologies for the poles, it is told from the non-human perspective of an elder that has witnessed deep time: the ice. 

The artist pairs poetry and archival material to recount the Victorian anxiety of an imminent glacial epoch. The disorienting fear of an invasive periphery sent shudders through the colonial enterprise, the tremors of which can be felt in contemporary times. Here, an alien figure traverses the blank, oblivious whiteness, and undergoes an Ovidian transformation into glimmering ice. Inspired by field recordings, an original score for string quartet creates an etheric soundscape of hissing glaciers and the hard timbre of the wind, interspersed with melodic fragments of Victorian composer, Edward Elgar’s ‘The Snow’. ‘we are opposite like that’ beckons the ghosts hidden in landscapes and turns them into echoes, listening in on the resonances of potential futures.

  • Frieze Artist Award

    Curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, the Frieze Artist Award is a major opportunity for an emerging international artist to present an ambitious work at Frieze Art Fair. For the first time, the Award will focus on the medium of film and is co-commissioned by FriezeForma and Channel 4 Random Acts. It is further co-produced by Frieze and Forma and supported by Arts Council England. The work will be premiered at Frieze London 2019 from 3-6 October before screening at select venues in the UK and beyond. Channel 4 Random Acts will also broadcast the film on Channel 4 and online this autumn.

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Himali Singh Soin, ‘we are opposite like that’ (2019). Video still. Image courtesy the artist.

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Himali Singh Soin, ‘we are opposite like that’ (2019). Video still. Image courtesy the artist.

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Himali Singh Soin, ‘we are opposite like that’ (2019). Video still. Image courtesy the artist.

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Biography

Himali is a writer and artist based between London and Delhi. She uses metaphors from outer space and the natural environment to construct imaginary cosmologies of interferences, entanglements, deep voids, debris, delays, alienation, distance and intimacy. In doing this, she thinks through ecological loss, and the loss of home, seeking shelter somewhere in the radicality of love.

Selected recent exhibitions and events include The Deep Listener at Serpentine Park Nights, London; subcontinentment at Whitechapel gallery curated by Block Universe, London; Comparative Futurisms, Afro-Asian Perspectives on the Future, Art Basel; thinking like an island at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, Giving Birth in Beauty at King’s College curated by Birthrites and Pro.Create, London, all 2019; Lapsus/Kairos at Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa; iilwimi lipsing at Primary, Nottingham; To Tehran in my Dreams at Brick Bar, Riga; Silicontology for 'Adventitious Encounters' at Open Space Contemporary, London, all 2018.

Himali Singh Soin, ‘we are opposite like that’ (2019). Video still. Image courtesy the artist.