LOS ANGELES — Candice Lin recently exhibited A Body Reduced to Brilliant Colour (Los Angeles, November 6 – December 6, 2016) at Ghebaly Gallery. We’re running images from that exhibition, along with her video/sculptural work in Holograms (2010) at the same gallery.
The exhibition explores how histories of slavery and colonialism have been shaped by human attraction to particular colours, tastes, textures and drugs. Focusing on how the desire to wear, ingest or become enraptured by certain substances preceded the will to trade them as commercial goods, A Body Reduced to Brilliant Colour traces the materialist urges at the root of colonial violence.
A low-tech installation of tubing, porcelain filters and hacked household objects boils, distils, dyes and pumps liquid containing colonial commodities such as cochineal, sugar and tea. “Fed” two litres of fermented tea per day, this work—which the artist describes as a “flayed circulatory system”—constantly produces a red fluid, which collects in a basin of Vitruvian proportions and is gradually siphoned off, congealing in a pool on a marble-effect laminate floor in the adjacent gallery.
In The Moon, a ceramic and mixed media sculpture, Lin’s sculpture references anatomist William Hunter’s plaster models and etchings and inverts the histories of Duchamp’s Étant Donnés (1966) and Courbet’s L’Origine du monde (1866). In The Moon, a viewer cannot avoid implication, but must sit with his head between the female body’s truncated legs, pressing his eye against the vulva to witness the animation howling within. Inside Out, the animation within The Moon, plays with the contradictory racial and female assignations of soul and soulless-ness, unknowable interiority and impenetrable surface.
In the main space, Holograms, a twenty-minute video projection, further delves into these ideas of subjectivity using a combination of found footage, animations, and hypnosis. Using the trappings of science fiction, Holograms deconstructs the science and the fiction of colonialism. Formally, the video embodies taxonomic impossibilities— drawings used sculpturally, a trance-inducing “impossible object,” and animated educational didactics which fail to impart any coherent information.
In both the exhibition and the video Holograms, the idea of authentic identity is continually thwarted and remains holographic itself. If myth resolves the void left by cultural disavowal, Holograms posits that the mythic denial of subjectivity to persons made “other” through national, racial, religious, or gendered difference is a type of cultural “magic” that we knowingly and unknowingly perform.
About the Artist
Candice Lin has exhibited internationally, a selection of venues include the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; China Art Objects, Los Angeles; the New York Underground Film Festival; Milliken Gallery, Stockholm; Valenzuela Y Klenner Arte Contemporaneo, Bogota; and has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Khyber ICA, Nova Scotia in 2012. Lin has been awarded several residencies, grants, and fellowships including the Banff Centre Artist Residency, Canada, 2010; the Department of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs CEI grant, 2010; the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, 2009; AIR at CESTA, Czech Republic, 2004; as well as an upcoming residency in 2011 at the Sacatar Foundation in Brazil. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Text (edited) and images courtesy of François Ghebaly Gallery.
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