Bringing together original poetry, archival material, and footage of high Arctic terrains, the work reflects on the colonial pasts and decolonial possibilities of the earth’s polar regions—glacial landscapes that are increasingly vulnerable in the midst of climate change.
In the video, an alien figure (played by Soin) wearing glimmering garments emerges from the ice and wanders into a coal mine; she is ice personified, a melting fossil. Interludes of animations based on illustrations from 19th-century British journals recount fears of a new glacial epoch when ice would subsume the empire. An original score for a string quartet produces a soundscape inspired by the sounds of ice crystals and by polar temperature variances between the Victorian era and the present day. we are opposite like that invites us to imagine future forms of kinship with the lands we inhabit.
Based between London and Delhi, Soin uses speculative narrative and nonhuman voices to address themes of ecological loss and colonial complicities. Her ongoing project we are opposite like that comprises a series of interdisciplinary works—performance, poetry, textile, video, and sculpture—that create fictional mythologies for the North and South poles.
This presentation complements Soin’s solo exhibition, Himali Singh Soin: Static Range, on view in Gallery 283 December 10, 2022–May 15, 2023. The installation was organized by Irene Sunwoo, John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design.