61°36'36.0"N 21°26'55.8"E

The past cannot bathe the present

Shubhangi Singh

Description of work

video | single channel | 00:04:00

In 1933, with the Soviet Union still under Joseph Stalin’s reign, Aleksey Tolstoy wrote his version of Adventures of Buratino. Not long after, Finland and Russia would be locked in the Winter War, followed by the Continuation War and the Second World War. The past cannot bathe the present is informed by these two disconnected events that become interrelated through time and space chronicled in the region’s annals as well as collective memory.

Reposaari’s war artillery and bunkers are sentient with events of the past, further galvanising the legacy of island today. The past cannot bathe the present notes moments in the island’s history as well as the possible future ecological impact of increased human activities, namely the proposed cluster mining processes that would connect the Port of Pori to Imatrankoski at the Russian border.

The video piece reflects upon the provisional quality of an individual’s presence in the geographic landscape within the broader scope of that site’s role in the historical landscape. The work responds to this transient relationship between the individual, the site and the conditions that mark their encounter, while being situated within a shifting geo-political timeline – that which is momentous as well as the mundane.


Shubhangi Singh’s practice as a visual artist and filmmaker responds to contemporary politics and the interconnectedness of production and reproduction of popular everyday material. She often draws upon research and experiences to address identity as well as queries related to the feminine and its position in society. In the process, extending the discourse into the public sphere. Singh consistently consolidates her formal training in films with her transdisciplinary practice to continually create and collaborate.

Her works include video, text, lecture-performances, sketches, objects and mixed media installations while her interests range from (un)materiality, folktales and the vague blurring between fact and fiction.

Shubhangi Singh’s works have shown at the Whitechapel Gallery (London), Third Space (Helsinki), 28th Festival Les Instants Video (Milan, Italy), BideoDromo, International Experimental Film and Video Festival (Bilbao, Spain), 8th Cairo Video Festival (Cairo, Egypt), Experimental Film, Audio and Performance Festival (Florianópolis, Brazil), IDSFFK (Kerala, India) and Athens Digital Art Festival (Athens, Greece) amongst other venues.

Singh is the co-founder of New City Limits, an initiative to facilitate creative viewing and practice in Navi Mumbai, India and currently lives and works in Helsinki.