Forma

we are opposite like that

'we are opposite like that' is a series of ongoing interdisciplinary works incorporating video, performance, poetry, music, and dance from material gathered during the artist's research in the Arctic and Antarctic circles, and comprising fictional mythologies for the poles. Singh Soin situates us in these regions to explore urgent questions about the environment, history and myth.

Since mistakes in measurements, mirages, fog and ice prevented the discovery of these uninhabited places– in particular, Svalbard was not discovered until 1596 and Deception island until 1820– neither place has any indigenous community and therefore no pre-existing myths and legends. 'we are opposite like that' seeks to create fictional myths for the two poles from the non-human perspective of a melting fossil that has witnessed the great shifts of epoch: the ice.

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.




'we are opposite like that'
Film, 2019


Himali Singh Soin’s film ‘we are opposite like that’, winner of the Frieze Artist Award 2019, was co-commissioned by Forma for Frieze London 2019.

Exploring environment, history and myth, the film 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.

The film has been shown internationally, often accompanied by performance elements that Himali has developed with other collaborators.



'we are opposite like that'
Book, 2020


Forma is pleased to present Himali Singh Soin's new artist book, made with the support of India Foundation for the Arts and gathering the ongoing research that constantly informs 'we are opposite like that'.

Singh Soin describes the publication as 'an almanac, a messy collection of missing paraphernalia from archives, false philosophies, unreliable observations from the ship, love letters, ekphrastic poems, astrological readings, made-up maps, theories, recipes and small resistances'.

A beautifully tactile book, with offset lithography print, canvas cover, hand-sewn and wax sealed. The publication includes a bookmark made of silver space blanket.

£25 + P&P

Please visit here to purchase the book.


Forma

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we are opposite like that

Himali Singh Soin
October 2019 – Ongoing

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

'we are opposite like that' is a series of ongoing interdisciplinary works incorporating video, performance, poetry, music, and dance from material gathered during the artist's research in the Arctic and Antarctic circles, and comprising fictional mythologies for the poles. Singh Soin situates us in these regions to explore urgent questions about the environment, history and myth.

Since mistakes in measurements, mirages, fog and ice prevented the discovery of these uninhabited places– in particular, Svalbard was not discovered until 1596 and Deception island until 1820– neither place has any indigenous community and therefore no pre-existing myths and legends. 'we are opposite like that' seeks to create fictional myths for the two poles from the non-human perspective of a melting fossil that has witnessed the great shifts of epoch: the ice.

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.




'we are opposite like that'
Film, 2019


Himali Singh Soin’s film ‘we are opposite like that’, winner of the Frieze Artist Award 2019, was co-commissioned by Forma for Frieze London 2019.

Exploring environment, history and myth, the film 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.

The film has been shown internationally, often accompanied by performance elements that Himali has developed with other collaborators.



'we are opposite like that'
Book, 2020


Forma is pleased to present Himali Singh Soin's new artist book, made with the support of India Foundation for the Arts and gathering the ongoing research that constantly informs 'we are opposite like that'.

Singh Soin describes the publication as 'an almanac, a messy collection of missing paraphernalia from archives, false philosophies, unreliable observations from the ship, love letters, ekphrastic poems, astrological readings, made-up maps, theories, recipes and small resistances'.

A beautifully tactile book, with offset lithography print, canvas cover, hand-sewn and wax sealed. The publication includes a bookmark made of silver space blanket.

£25 + P&P

Please visit here to purchase the book.

  • 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 Frieze, Forma 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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Touring


we are opposite like that
has been shown in numerous venues and as part of several exhibitions and programmes, as it continues to grow as an interdisciplinary body of work.

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Images from a performance at Concrete at Alserkal Av. Curated by Block Universe, In collaboration with David Soin Tappeser and Shyamant Behal. January 2020


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Image from Hypertopia, group exhibition at STATE Studio, Berlin, 2020. Image by Eike Walkenhorst

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Screening of we are opposite like that at Focal Point Gallery as part of To Dream Effectively. Image by Anna Lukala

About the artist

Himali Singh Soin 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, leakages, alienation, distance and intimacy. In doing this, she thinks through ecological loss, and the loss of home, seeking shelter somewhere in the healing power of performance and the radicality of love. Her speculations are performed in audio-visual, immersive environments.

Soin's art has been shown at Khoj (Delhi), Somerset House, Mimosa House, Serpentine Gallery (London), Gropius Bau or the HKW (Berlin), Migros Museum (Zurich), Anchorage museum (Alaska) and the next Shanghai Biennale. She is part of the curatorial team of Momenta Biennale 2021 in Montréal. Soin is currently Writer-in-Residence at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, and was the recipient of the Frieze Artist Award last year.

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