August 29, 2017 - Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research - Candice Lin: A Hard White Body
August 29, 2017

Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research

Candice Lin, A Hard White Body (detail), 2017. Courtesy the artist.

Candice Lin
A Hard White Body
September 6–December 23, 2017

Opening: September 5, 6–9pm

Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research
9 Esplanade Pierre Vidal-Naquet
Rez-de-Chaussée de la Halle aux Farines
F-75013 Paris

T +33 1 45 84 17 56

Curated by Lotte Arndt and Lucas Morin

Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research is happy to announce Candice Lin’s first solo exhibition in France.

With A Hard White Body, Candice Lin weaves together two stories that do not seem to allow for an obvious connection. At first glance, the black American writer and social critic James Baldwin (1924–87), and Jeanne Baret (1740–1807), French botanist and first woman to have sailed around the globe, appear to share only their initials. Lin unites these characters who, despite two centuries of distance, lived out desires that were allowed through displacement from their native lands. They navigated queer and racialized gender presentations that were projected upon them and at times embraced by themselves. Focusing on survival strategies, Lin interrogates the intersections between race, gender, class and sexuality. 

The installation Candice Lin realizes is conceived around Giovanni’s Room, the novel by James Baldwin that describes a gay love story taking place in a cramped, dark room, which the protagonist finds suffocating as he struggles with his sexuality. At the same time and in the same room, he lives the passionate relationship that leads his lover to death. Jeanne Baret borrowed the identity and clothing of a man to be able to embark aboard the French ship L’Étoile, for the famous but relatively unquestioned voyage navigated by Louis-Antoine de Bougainville. In the exhibition, she appears intermittently, similar to the passage of her life, known only by scattered archives and fragmented reports from distant commentators, overshadowed by the legacy of the botanist Philibert Commerson, her companion and master.

Through her installation, Candice Lin materializes the echoes between these two characters. She works with porcelain, invoking the history of exoticism, virology and global trade, and raising the question of a racialized language: porcelain, this hard white body, a Chinese object of Western desire inimitable until the mid-18th century. Porcelain evokes purity, whiteness and resistance to cracking or staining. Its fine pores make for a strong filter, used by Louis Pasteur and Charles Chamberland for the study of bacteria and viruses and other stowaways invisible to the naked eye. By infusing her porcelain installation with a distillation of piss, water from the Seine and medicinal plants, Candice Lin stages processes of contamination between organic and inorganic materials. She creates an unstable and pungent sculptural ecosystem that requires constant caretaking, inviting visitors to physically participate. 

A Hard White Body is produced in collaboration with Portikus, Frankfurt/Main.
The exhibition and its public programs are taking place in the context of the 30th anniversary of the death of James Baldwin (1924-87).

Candice Lin’s exhibition is completed by Disturbing Objects, Disquiet Objects. Going Beyond Classificatory Certainties, a series of public programs conceived by Lotte Arndt in collaboration with Temporary Gallery, Cologne. They are sponsored by Perspektive - Fund for Contemporary Art and Architecture, a program initiated by the Bureau for Visual Arts of the Institut français Germany.

At Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research (Paris, France)

Saturday, September 9 at 3pm
Precarious Homes
Jamika Ajalon, Candice Lin, Aykan Safoğlu
Screening: Aykan Safoğlu, Off-White Tulips (2013), 24'.
A screening selected by Clara López Menéndez 

Saturday, October 21 at 3pm
Bathing in Contagious Liquids
Élisabeth Lebovici, Clara López Menéndez, Petra Van Brabandt
Screening: Vladimir Ceballos, Maldito sea tu nombre, libertad (1994), 61'.
A screening selected by Clara López Menéndez 

Saturday, December 2 at 3pm
Teresa Castro 

At Temporary Gallery (Cologne, Germany)

Friday, October 13 at 7pm
Matter in Process: Erasures and Resurgences
Mathieu K. Abonnenc, Susanne Leeb
Screening: Mathieu K. Abonnenc, An Italian Film. Africa Addio. First Part: Copper (2012), 27’ 

Friday, November 3 at 7pm
Border Crossers. On Strange Growth and Collections in Turmoil
Pauline M’barek, Tahani Nadim, Kerstin Stoll 

Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research
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A Hard White Body
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