• Himali Singh Soin: Static Range
    Himali Singh Soin
    Irene Sunwoo
    Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
    Dec 10, 2022 to May 15, 2023
    Art Institute of Chicago

Himali Singh Soin, "an affirmation," 2022. Video still. Courtesy the artist

Static Range is the first solo exhibition in the United States of Himali Singh Soin, an artist and writer based between London and Delhi. Through multimedia experiments, performance, writing, and interdisciplinary collaborations, Soin engages metaphors of outer space and the natural environment to think through ecological loss, alienation, and the entanglement of human and non-human life. This project embraces 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. Organized under the curatorial leadership of Irene Sunwoo, John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design, Static Range presents recent and new work by Soin—including video, audio, textiles, text, and a commissioned ceramic piece—as well as internal and external loans. The exhibition also demonstrates the department’s curatorial commitment to explore pressing environmental issues.

Himali Singh Soin uses metaphors from outer space and the natural environment to construct imaginary cosmologies of interferences, entanglements, deep voids, debris, delays, alienation, distance and intimacy through her art and writing. 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. Her work has been presented at and supported by Serpentine Galleries (London); Whitechapel Gallery (London); Haus der Kulturen Welt (Berlin); EWERK (Luckenwalde); TBA21 (Madrid); the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Lisbon); and the Shanghai Biennale. Soin received the 2019 Frieze Artist Award and was part of the curatorial team of the 2021 Momenta Biennale in Montréal. Soin earned her bachelor’s in theater and English from Middlebury College, a masters in English literature from The Bread Loaf School of English, and an MFA from Goldsmiths University in London.

Irene Sunwoo is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator, Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. Sunwoo joined the Art Institute in 2021 after five years at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she was curator of the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery and director of exhibitions. At Ross Gallery, Sunwoo oversaw an experimental and interdisciplinary exhibition program that supported and advanced new architectural practices, research, and ideas. Sunwoo organized exhibitions including Frida Escobedo: No. 9 (2017), Eternal Gradient: Arakawa and Madeline Gins (2018), Cooking Sections: Offsetted (2019); and Torkwase Dyson: 1919: Black Water (2019). She served as associate curator of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial (2015). Currently, she is developing two book projects: one on the architectural educator Alvin Bovarsky and a second on the architectural experiments of Arakawa and Madeline Gins. Sunwoo received a bachelor’s in art history from New York University, a master’s from the Bard Graduate Center, a master’s degree from the Architectural Association, and a doctorate from the Princeton University School of Architecture. She has taught at Parsons School of Design, Bard College, and Oberlin College.

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