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Candice Lin | Sycorax’s Garden

Residency & Exhibition: July 13 – September 18, 2015
18th Street Arts Center | Main Gallery
1639 18th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Reception: Saturday, August 29, 2015, 6-8pm

Los-Angeles based artist Candice Lin continues her research into the historical and contemporary use of plants in medicine, cultural objects, food, consciousness-research, and foraging practices in the Artist Lab. This exploration, ongoing from her past work, questions how socio-political interests engage with power, circulating within language and form in the specific contexts of gendered relationships to technology, nature, food, and domesticity. Lin explores the gendered and racialized figure of the healer, herb-woman, or witch, and the role of botany in relationship to empire and colonialism. She considers historical figures, such as the eighteenth-century explorer Jeanne Baret, as well as narrative characters, like Sycorax, the mother Caliban in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. All are connected to legacies of imperialism and revolution. She traces the inheritances of these systems in botanical nomenclature and in scientific taxonomies to look at how contemporary hierarchies define and order gender, animacy, and different types of life forms.

In the second half of her residency, Lin will collaborate with artist Patrick Staff. Together, they will be investigating the hormonal properties of plants and their synthesis within the human body. Their research will concern phyto-hormones with which they will make a variety of substances including a natural testosterone salve harvested from local pine pollen and sculptural works that will form the basis for a film set, within which the artists will document performative actions regarding the ingestion and constitution of such substances. Lin’s and Staff’s collaboration will incorporate foraging and herbal medicine to examine the intersections of technologies of the body, bio-political subjectivity, and contemporary formulations of gender and sexuality, which also form the basis of Lin’s other plant-based research project in the Artist Lab.

Artist-led workshop: Saturday, August 29, 4-6pm | space limited, reservation required: http://18thstreet.org/events/2015august29

Candice Lin’s Artist Lab Residency at 18th Street Arts Center is generously supported by the California Community Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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