• Static Range
    Himali Singh Soin
    Lola McDougall, Mandip Singh Soin, Kostas Stasinopoulos, and Irene Sunwoo
    Subcontinentment Books, 2022
    Himali Singh Soin

Himali Singh Soin, Static Range animation still 1, 2020-2021

This artist’s book is a new strand of Static Range, a multidisciplinary and multilimbed project that uses a real-life spy-story in the Indian Himalayas as a canvas for speculations and reflections about nuclear culture, porosity, leakages, toxicity and love, spiritual-scientific entanglements, environmental catastrophe, and post-nation states. To date, Static Range comprises various elements—“transmissions”—in video, performance, textile, music, text, and botanical interventions. The artist’s book is a new component planned as a part of an exhibition curated by Irene Sunwoo at the Art Institute of Chicago (December 2022–May 2023). The book, Static Range, takes its inspiration from stamp booklets and flip books: it forms an analogue version of the eponymous animation in which the mountain, Nanda Devi, morphs in the nuclear sublime, radiant and blemished. Made with organic cellulose paper and entirely lickable, each page contains four perforated stamps. Designed by Sukanya Ghosh, the book has a screen printed cover on cloth, and a wrapper containing an epistolary exchange between the mountain and the nuclear powered spy device that is lodged inside it, as well as three newly commissioned texts. Necessarily, the only way to consume this book is to destroy it.

Himali Singh Soin is a writer and artist based between London and Delhi. She works across text, performance, and moving image. She uses metaphors from outer space and the natural environment to construct imaginary cosmologies that make up nonlinear entanglements between human and nonhuman life. Her installations are strewn with narratives about ecological loss and the loss of home, seeking shelter somewhere in the radicality of love. Her poetic methodology explores the myriad technologies of knowing, from scientific to intuitional, indigenous and alchemical processes. Her inspirations include the ancient Stoics and contemporary literature, travel diaries, and ancient diagrams. In the face of extinction, her work insists on resurgence. Soin's art has been shown internationally, from Khoj (Delhi); Somerset House, Mimosa House, Serpentine Gallery (London), Gropius Bau, EWERK, HKW, Hamburger Bahnof (Berlin), Migros Museum (Zurich), Anchorage Museum (Alaska), Kadist (San Francisco), Dhaka Art Summit and the Shanghai Biennale. She was the recipient of the Frieze Artist Award 2019, part of the curatorial team of Momenta Biennale 2021 in Montréal, and writer-in-residence at the Whitechapel Gallery in London 2020–21. Upcoming exhibits include a bird opera at the Biennale Gherdina in the Dolomites and a solo comprising modern rituals at Museo Thyssen in Madrid.