Gasworks presents A Body Reduced to Brilliant Colour, the first UK solo show by Candice Lin.
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.
Living processes, from fermentation to the generation of an electrical current through bacterial digestion, join with objects, organic matter and DIY mechanics to constitute a ritualistic act in which ceaseless movement echoes the histories of trade that entangle them. Transforming prized, historically-loaded goods into a stain reminiscent of murder or menstrual blood, the work speaks to these fraught histories of conquest, slavery, torture and theft, while at the same time exploring what happens when materials so burdened with history and meaning are situated in—and produce—new systems of relations.
Candice Lin received her MFA in New Genres at the San Francisco Art Institute and her double BA in Visual Arts and Art Semiotics at Brown University. Her work engages notions of gender, race and sexuality by examining discrepant bodies, vibrant material and disobedience, drawing from scientific theories, anthropology and queer theory. Lin’s work has been recently exhibited at the Kadist Art Foundation in Paris, the Delfina Foundation in London, La Maison Populaire in Paris, and Akuna Zentroa/Alhondiga Bilbao, Spain with recent solo exhibitions at Francois Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles and CAAA, Guimarães.
Exhibitions supporter 2016-17: Catherine Petitgas.