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Himali Singh Soin

20141015211637-img_5297 Frieze London: Overheard at the VIP Preview   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
London Exhibitors at Frieze London October 14th, 2014 - October 18th, 2014
Posted 10/15/14

Here is a series of eavesdroppings from the first day of the Frieze Art Fair. A pleasure and a parody of itself, the fair is a collection of arms and legs and moans and groans tumbling and trellising over each other. The atmosphere is absurd from the upstart: people want to buy a line, a point, an idea, an experience. This carnival is both carnivorous and celebratory. The reactions to the work and random parley make up a tantalizing network of conversation, collaboration, and cacophony. If we we... [more]

20140222214144-dsc_0014 The Whole Truth - Lawrence Abu Hamdan   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Caroline Bergvall, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, KP Jayasankar, Amar Kanwar, Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, Anjali Monteiro, Pallavi Paul, Mithu Sen at KHOJ International Artists' Association January 15th, 2014 - February 15th, 2014
Posted 2/22/14

You avert your eyes when I ask you if you're really no longer in love with those that broke your heart. You twitch a little after you've stolen, heave and churn inside before accepting that job you don't want. It is the gap between the truth and your realisation of it that makes for dramatic irony, that makes for the narratives within which you swallow and strut through life. And if you lived sensitively, the truth – the direction of the grain upon which it's all written – reveals itself.... [more]

20140208122352-photo_3 The Librarian: An Imagined Monologue for an Installation   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Zuleikha Chaudhari, Boris Nikitin at Indira Gandhi National Centre For Arts February 1st, 2014 - February 6th, 2014
Posted 2/8/14

Also the real thing was created by the theatre directors Boris Nikitin and Zuleikha Chaudhari as a performances component of Insert 2014. Insert 2014 is a series of installations and lectures that navigate the in-betweenness of our grand, idealistic, metaphoric and harsher, earthlier, immediate realities. It is curated by Raqs Media Collective. Also the real thing is a pathway, a process. Navigating multiple dialectics, the performance, in which the viewer has no choice but to be complicit, navigates two types of buildings, an auditorium in which stories are... [more]

20130526150832-tumblr_m6oyh3fuit1ry5b7wo1_1280 Still Living. The Tower and The Poem.   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 5/26/13

This is where a poem enters. After the introduction, before the conclusion. It does not need to tell the whole story, just as it can tell as much of its tale in the space where the line leaves off, empty cavities anticipating pause. This was going to be a meditation on the relationship between art and poetry, and the value of the ekphrasis, a poem that evokes the momentum and meaning of a work of art. Could a piece of text, both literally and visually, really reflect the rhythm of the image that... [more]

20130221060101-moderniznation__final_detail_ Child's Play   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Hema Upadhyay at Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati February 9th, 2013 - May 5th, 2013
Posted 2/21/13

Like nursery rhymes about the black plague or fairy tales about dictatorial empires, here is a site-specific installation that employs a colorful playfulness in form to access dark and grave content. Galerie Espace Typographie in Paris, where Hema Upadhyay first recreated this dioramic view of miniature slum dwellings in Bombay, is a former textile godown, with natural lighting from a roof made of glass, with echoes from walls made of stone and appearing as a construction or storage site with con... [more]

The Anti-Mail: An Interview with Kiran Subbaiah  

New Delhi, Jan. 2013: Kiran Subbaiah was not born in 1971 in Karnataka, India. He did not complete an MFA in sculpture at The Royal College of Art in London, and neither did he graduate with an undergraduate degree in sculpture from The University of Baroda. He hasn’t shown all over the world, especially not recently at the Centre Pompidou, Serpentine, Bose Pacia, Thomas Erben, among others. He did not receive the Unesco Aschberg Bursary or the Inlaks scholarship. And lastly, he has not been writte... [more]

GEOslant with Himali Singh Soin: "Come as you are, Leave as you will be": In Memory of Georgia Fee  
Posted 1/4/13

I once imagined what it would be like to disappear. From the earth, society, my self. To be a hole. And what it would be like to exist so completely, that I could be omnipresent, on earth, in society, to my self. Whole. And it was with Georgia that I experienced this.   We went, along with Jim Benn, a fellow ArtSlant writer, to see Yayoi Kusama's retrospective at the Pompidou while I was visiting Paris, but we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. We had no idea that we would swim... [more]

GEOslant with Himali Singh Soin: The H of How: A Part of You and Your Partial Self at Sleep No More.  
Posted 10/1/12

No sleep till Brooklyn, I chanted all summer, racing against the night, elbow and index finger at right angles to the page, the arithmetic of the numbers on the top corners of Marcel Proust’s ‘In Search of Lost Time’ teasing me as they ascended, stopped, and started again with each volume. In shedding notions of linear or real-time, and therefore morality, I was forced to exist outside—the landscape, the book, myself, you. The last volume is called Time Regained, arrived at after, of course,... [more]

20120717091005-chittrovanu-mazumdar Someone Else’s Home Alone   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Gautam Bhatia, Niyeti Chadha, Zuleikha Chaudhari, Abir Karmarkar, Chittrovanu Mazumdar, Prajakta Potnis, Mithu Sen, Praneet Soi, Hema Upadhyay at The Loft At Lower Parel May 23rd, 2012 - July 14th, 2012
Posted 7/17/12

What is it that makes me ‘me’ and you ‘you'? Broken down to the basic unit, rounded off to the last decimal point, what of us will remain if our being, this Sisyphean burden we bear daily, is removed quite out of the blue? A few strands of hair on the bed we sleep in, the smell of skin under the sheets, our well dug footprints on the soles of shoes, tossed indelicately once beyond the familiar threshold of home. And perhaps a note. Poignant in its brevity and aptly mystifying. But will these... [more]

20120423024816-y__abecedaire_-2010-2012 26 Down   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Sathyanand Mohan at The Guild Art Gallery April 13th, 2012 - May 26th, 2012
Posted 4/23/12

Sathyanand Mohan’s series of twenty-six playful photographs, Abecedaire, 2012, evoked this story of childhood crossword puzzles and intangible life lessons. The artist’s photographs are about the simultaneous beauty and danger that the world of words evokes: each image delves into a colorful universe of constructed and natural landscapes with a childlike block letter, A to Z, in the foreground. The letters come to signify the paradoxes of meaning, and the symbols of a psyche that are disorderly, wh... [more]

20110916211034-00920110917 In Other Words   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Prayas Abhinav, Sarnath Banerjee, Zuleikha Chaudhari, Raqs Media Collective, Vibha Galhotra, Hanif Kureishi, Sachin George Sebastian at Exhibit 320 November 25th, 2011 - December 25th, 2011
Posted 1/2/12

WORDS: A USER'S MANUAL begins with the word, keeping the implicit promise in its name.  Simply put, the driving concept at the core of this ambitiously curated show is this: words, as we know them, denote specific reality, whereas ‘art’ is essentially devoid of any such intrinsic meaning and is appreciated in terms of individual inference and interpretation. To illustrate this point further let us consider the word ‘Cat.’ When I say the word ‘Cat’ I refer to the furry purring creature that dr... [more]

20120102193840-dsc_0912 The Year in Time   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 1/2/12

Even as the clock is a constant, K, ticking away, Time itself varies with the meridians, the stars, the oceans and its tides. It is hardly ever measured with numbers or needles: it is the sweat on a wrist, that which will indicate the state of the person rather than the false clasp of a wristwatch. Time is measured in personal histories, and written through the narrow lens of the history of the historian--that time when you were in love flew by, that time when you doubted yourself stretched elastical... [more]

20111020053854-kusamameta4567 Yayoi Kusama   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Yayoi Kusama at Centre Pompidou October 10th, 2011 - January 9th, 2012
Posted 11/1/11

At once dark, cold, full of light. Then warm, uncanny and familiar, controlled and free, asexual and erotic, lonely and loving, Yayoi Kusama's retrospective at the Centre Pompidou is not merely an exhibit of an artist's work. This is like landing in a new dimension filled with color and polka dots and long, radish-like growths, like being inside a brain, exploring the complexity of a strong and vulnerable mind, of a woman who made metaphors concrete, and illusions into reality.  (Image: Yayoi Kusama, Self-Oblit... [more]

20110915222004-01120110916 Pretty in Pink   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Kapil Das at PHOTOINK September 17th, 2011 - November 12th, 2011
Posted 10/9/11

In 1946, after the world wars, Edith Piaf sings La Vie En Rose, calling out to her lover to give his heart and soul to her, so that her life will always be in "pink." In the late 90's, a relatively pink time in America that saw the rise of information and the settling modicum of the cold war, the song Pink by Aerosmith lifts the tiny and the everyday (lips, cherry, umbrella, crayon, flamingo) and the ascending octaves to imply that "everything is going to be alright." Here is a photographer who recreates his own li... [more]

20110821211248-caveentrance Feroz Shah Kotla   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 8/21/11

As a young child, I was taken into thick forests on safari where I listened to the crickets and waited for that ominous rustle of leaves; I was put on a camel’s back to sway with its pendulumic rhythm in the deep desert dunes; I was left in castles to explore the secret drawers of kings, I climbed mountains and crouched in caves and swam in seas and fished in rivers and through all these adventures, I prayed. I wasn’t given religion, but I was made to believe. In all my explorations, I met with... [more]

20110805173813-view-1 Seeing in Time   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Prayas Abhinav, Amitabh Kumar, Tahireh Lal, Umesh P N, Amitabh Pandey, Kiran Subbaiah, Eelco Wagenaar, Asim Waqif at The Guild Art Gallery July 18th, 2011 - August 28th, 2011
Posted 8/21/11

Imagine that Time was born wearing a frock, morphing, as he grows older, into a dress, then a gown. The frock is simple, the dress has a few studs and some intricate cuts, and the gown is bedecked with lace and beads and zippers—all the frills that a society will impose upon that which began simply with itself. The Sidereal is that tangential reality at the centre of the circle of Time had the frock not turned into a gown: On the Sidereal ponders the nature of Time were it stripped of the value... [more]

20110524125604-20110522154441-ug_02 Urban Gaze   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Sandeep Biswas at Ashna Gallery March 31st, 2010 - April 17th, 2010
Posted 5/24/11

Polished, shiny, plastic, glistening, steel, luminous, Sandeep Biswas’ almost life-sized polymorphous photographs glow lucent within the bright, spacious walls of Ashna Gallery. Depicting exaggerated, blown up images of light bulbs, mannequins, plastic water bottles, curtain holders, funnels and other such ‘material objects… that glitter and need no effort in maintenance’, Biswas offers the viewer a meditation on the transient psyche of city life. Each of his images are knotted, stacked-up and multiple; no object is seen singularly, instead as a cloud of mass produ... [more]

20110519064405-india_gate A Book Review   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 5/19/11

Queer launched in Delhi on the 2nd May at Max Mueller Bhavan, and lauches in London on 31 May 2011, Autograph ABP, Rivington Place. Written by Sunil Gupta, Saleem Kidwai and Keith Wallace. Published by Prestel and Vadehra Art Gallery. In Sunil Gupta's book titled Queer, we travel the world — beginning in Montreal and landing in Delhi — imagining the lives of his ‘documentary’ portraits of gay men and women. Amongst the larger collection, however, is his series of photographs in Del... [more]

20110228065512-le_persistence Space, History, Invasion   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Bard Sandemose, Ismael Sanz-Pena at The Loft At Lower Parel March 5th, 2011 - March 19th, 2011
Posted 3/28/11

With regards to what might be called a deficit of the continuity of seeing, “¡Space :: Invaders!” taps into the cuts and pauses which make up the condition of viewing, specifically drawing out examples of cultural coagulation which are alternately random, disturbing and funny. The show comes as part of an initiative by the Loft, a gallery in Mumbai, to promote young curators. Curator Himali Singh Soin brought together Spanish artist Ismael Sanz-Pena and Norwegian artist Bard Sandemose. Both art... [more]

20110214164107-india_art_summit Summit Snippets   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 2/14/11

To Judge a Canvas by its Title How does one unearth the Archeology of Spectacle?I call upon you, Fragile herand from *1934: Wear a Bulletproof vest for this is a battleBetween Black vs black but.Even War Has Limits.What you will find is An Epic Act that ends with Afternoon Tea and Love Cakes.Your Afterlife turns out to be merely an Accumulation of Cock Dump 2011 aka Study for monument to Folly.Careful now, Science is Fiction and what you think is real is merely an Epic Act Sans Titre. The tiger i... [more]

20110131200854-birth_control_01 Pill Appeal   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Jaishri Abichandani, Sarnath Banerjee, Ayesha Durrani, Kaif Gaznavi, Tushar Joag, Abir Karmakar, Swati Khurana, Nandita Kumar, Tazeen Qayyum, Mithu Sen, Vito Tumbarello at Latitude 28 January 22nd, 2011 - February 22nd, 2011
Posted 1/31/11

The Pill is a Personification. The Pill is a Hyperbole, an Archetype, a Symbol. It’s tiny, systematic, circular self has flirtatiously traveled across the globe, morphing old wives tales about women’s cycles, reproduction and sexual intercourse. And how the tiny tablets find themselves in an art gallery in Delhi only hints at their locomotive stamina. Particularly fascinating, across the exhibition, is the number of artists that chose to employ the shape of a circle, in image, metaphor and meani... [more]

20110117203643-1981_toreflectanim_anish_kapoor Meditation on Kapoor's Optic Antics   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Anish Kapoor at National Gallery of Modern Art - NGMA Delhi November 27th, 2010 - February 27th, 2011
Posted 1/17/11

Anish Kapoor’s deep well of color and shapes make your eyes burn.  The outside is inverted with the inside, images are miniaturized and hyperbolic, too close or too far, lateral, converse, perverse, and incongruous with any rational imagination. You feel these things that frustrate and exhilarate you. You wonder about the universe, you wonder about yourself. You think about love, about loneliness, emptiness and character. You wonder how such artificial, solid structures could evoke such visceral, organi... [more]

20101228131542-calder_jpg A Poem   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 12/28/10

Calder's Model Universe There is no better model for me to choose                         Sense of motion space volume Than the universe:                                                                      Knowledge of the cosmic Sympathy for the human Variation between the elements of life Not extractions but abstractions Resembling the real only in its manner of reaction A mechanical drive can control movement. I begin with shapes because they are dynamic; ... [more]

20101129225450-350x Life Insurance to Dance On   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 11/29/10

Project BandaloopSeher India/American CentreLIC BuildingConnaught PlaceNew Delhi  110001November  26th  2010 It’s a life-affirming day: the sun is out, the air is chilly, and the centre of Delhi is buzzing like a cicada. There are folks eating from street stalls, some hop busily on and off the metro, others shop, or simply walk. Music emanates from the Life Insurance Corporation’s building as five dancers from San Francisco prepare themselves to dance, parallel to the surface of the building:... [more]

20101129225644-elephant The Black Spot   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Kazi Nasir at Latitude 28 November 20th, 2010 - December 12th, 2010
Posted 11/29/10

Tiny black specks spread like wild multiplying ants, across desolate landscapes, up pillars, into oceans, swarming the canvases and seemingly leaping up the walls of the gallery Latitude 28 till it sinks to the equator-- in the jarring glare of the sun the voice of truth, an alarming illumination of the violence and isolation that has consumed the world and left it brittle and crumbling. Kazi Nasir’s foreboding art utilizes a man-made medium—acrylics—to portray the destruction of man and all that... [more]

20101108205304-dsc_0269_2 Report from the Bangaluru Artist Residency   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 11/8/10

Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called ‘The Pledge’. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called ‘The Turn’. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you... [more]

20100929051316-shows Art Celebrates 2010!   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Yusuf Arakkal, Jayasri Burman, Arpana Caur, Jogen Chowdhury, Apurva Desai, Pooja Iranna, Krishen Khanna, Gopi Krishna, Paresh Maity, Anjolie Ela Menon at Lalit Kala Akademi Galleries - New Delhi October 3rd, 2010 - October 15th, 2010
Posted 11/2/10

Delhi is an old city; even popular depictions portray dusty streets silhouetted in cycle rickshaws and imperial columns. It is also a quiet city, its air of solemnity punctuated only by the newspaperman’s calls to begin the day with politics, debate and the overheard at yesterday afternoon’s luncheon. A green ridge forms the penumbra of this tree-capped city, its shadows dancing with bygone classical rhythms up the thick stone walls of an old fort, a tomb, a mosque, a ruin. This is, of... [more]

20101101221001-cwggraf CWG Grafitti   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 11/1/10

The slick whitewashed walls of the Lalit Kala Academi’s exhibition on ‘Sports and the City’ leaks / between the cracks left by inefficient plumbing / onto the streets. An aggressive agitation bleeds onto the crumbling cement walls of Delhi as pockets of anonymous groups form to publicly subvert—with text—the text that adorns our new, "cleansed" city: Commonwealth Games 2010. Over the past year, numerous symbolic spaces have been transformed with anti-CWG slogans: brig... [more]

20100824014440-shadow-1 Performance Manifesto for the 21st Century   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 8/24/10

The stage-- the holy stage-- the suspension of disbelief-- the deliberation of spontaneity-the only space where the intellect contains the body.The body. Molded and contorted and twisted and turned into shape and shapelessness, breath—in and out—and form. The body speaks. The body that endures, that sweats, that tears, the body that is vulnerable to time, the corporeal, the mortal.The fine arts—sculpture, painting, drawing, etching—alone must use objects and implements to cr... [more]

Lalitha Prisoners with Vision   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 7/24/10

Art From Behind Bars (an exhibition of artworks created by incarcerated criminals) Organized by Kavita Shivdisani In association with bCA Gallery, Mumbai         The sky above is a navy moleskin. Down below, a drum beats. A clang opens an iron door, a tin bowl of sour lentils is placed near a silhouetted figure. Time swells, scraping like a file on metal. Distant shrieks and heavy boots punctuate the thick cold steel bars that cut and tear the drooping figure into long, bent chunks of flesh, so bored, so oblivious, sans... [more]

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