Los Angeles-based artist Candice Lin creates sculptural environments that breathe, seep, ferment, and decay. Working with an arsenal of sculptural forms that include finely crafted objects, organisms such as plants, insects, and bacteria, and natural compounds, Lin interrogates the ways in which histories of power and marginality are inscribed into bodies and into the natural world.
The artist’s first solo exhibition in Chicago, A Hard White Body, a Porous Slip presents a fragile sculptural landscape composed of porcelain fragments submerged in water. Rotting plant material and other debris soak in the shallow pool, coloring the liquid and dirtying the ceramic surfaces. Lin employs the “hard white body” of porcelain as a signifier of Orientalist desires for cultural purity and refinement. Such desires pervaded the historic grounds of 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, which are in close proximity to the Logan Center Gallery. A series of drawings, deteriorating archival documents, and moving images illuminate the presence of porcelain at the Columbian Exposition. These works also evoke the life and work of three historical figures: novelist James Baldwin, botanist and first woman to circumnavigate the globe Jeanne Baré, and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian. With biographies that negotiated the boundaries of geography, race, gender, and sexuality, these protagonists represent the transhistorical possibilities of intersectional identity. A Hard White Body, a Porous Slip offers an unstable environment that destabilizes Orientalist ideals and ensuing contemporary tastes. It sets forth the promise of contamination offered by the emergence of marginal voices and narratives of resistance.
Candice Lin: A Hard White Body, a Porous Slip is presented by Logan Center Exhibitions and curated by Yesomi Umolu, Exhibitions Curator with Katja Rivera, Assistant Curator and Alyssa Brubaker, Exhibitions Coordinator. This exhibition is made possible by support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, and friends of the Logan Center. Candice Lin: A Hard White Body a Porous Slip is produced in collaboration with Bétonsalon – Centre d’art et de recherche & Villa Vassilieff and Portikus, Frankfurt/Main with contribution from Temporary Gallery, Cologne.