Himali Singh Soin
we are opposite like that
1 Jan 1970
Himali Singh Soin, we are opposite like that (film still + Giclée, Hahnemühle Bamboo), 2019. HD video, stereo, colour. Courtesy of the artist.
Obsidian Coast is delighted to present a solo exhibition by Himali Singh Soin. Building up non-anthropocentric, post-human ways of storytelling, the artist forages for polar mythologies that compose her series we are opposites like that.

Edit on 12 Jan 2021: Due to COVID-19, this exhibition will no longer take place as planned. Please see our programme update and check back for further details in the coming months.

The latest video from the series, shown at Obsidian Coast, 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.

Shot during a research residency on Svalbard in the high Arctic circle, the video captures the attenuation of planetary temporalities, confined geographies and decolonial possibilities through the motions of an alien figure – part-cyborg, part-vessel of some ancient feminine knowledge – wandering through the blank, oblivious whiteness in a landscape of receding glaciers. Inspired by field recordings, an original score for string quartet creates an etheric soundscape coded with temperature variances, latitudes and longitudes from the field.

we are opposite like that desires to rearrange the map. While firmly located in the two polar circles, it proposes a kind of transnationalist world blanketed in lichen and in which north and south are collapsed. Since the poles are used as laboratories for outer space research and have been the site of high frequency UFO sightings, Soin uses sci-fi tropes to propose a south-asian futurism, in which her brown body finds friction and friendship in a white landscape, in which rationalism and the occult make up a multiplicity of disparate narratives, unified by strange teleconnections.

we are opposite like that beckons the ghosts hidden in landscapes and turns them into echoes, listening in on the resonances of potential futures.  
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, 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. Her speculations are performed in audio-visual, immersive environments.

Musical score:
David Soin Tappeser

Krystallos quartet
Cello: Zoé Saubat
Viola: Francesca Gilbert
First violin: Freya Goldmark
Second violin: Maria Fiore Mazzarini

Tiziana Mangiaratti
Ikroop Sandhu

History of Science
Alexis Rider

Field support
Iveta Gabaliņa
Devra Freelander

With deep gratitude to
Shaunak Mahbubani for curating the first work as part of the Fragile Kinships at the Swiss Embassy, India Art Fair, Delhi
And Diana Campbell Betancourt for curating the second work as part of the Frieze Artist Award

In memory of Devra Freelander, who literally made love to ice
Supported by India Foundation for the Arts, Frieze London, Forma Arts & Media Ltd and Channel 4 Random Acts.

The exhibition is kindly supported by Arts Council England.