presents A Body Reduced to Brilliant Colour, the first UK solo exhibition by American artist Candice Lin.
The exhibition explores how histories of slavery and colonialism have been shaped by human attraction to particular colours, tastes, textures and drugs. Lin presents a new commission, a living sculpture assembled from hacked household objects, which will work constantly to transform historically loaded goods such as tea and sugar into a new substance, a brownish-red fluid which will collect and congeal on the gallery floor throughout the exhibition.
Focusing on how the desire to wear, become enraptured by, or ingest certain plants and substances preceded the will to trade them as commercial goods, the exhibition traces the materialist urges at the root of colonial violence. 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.
Tubing, plastic and glass containers, porcelain filters, hot plates, and other household objects boil, ferment, distil, dye and pump liquid containing colonial trade goods such as cochineal, sugar and tea. The system created by these diverse elements surrounds a large, waterproof basin of Vitruvian proportions. Fed two litres of water each day, this work which the artist describes as a flayed circulatory system constantly produces a brownish-red fluid, which collects in the basin and is gradually siphoned off, congealing in a pool on a marble-effect laminate floor in the adjacent gallery. By transforming prized, historically-loaded goods into a stain reminiscent of murder, faeces 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.
A series of events accompanies the exhibition including The Intricate Speech of Intimate Objects on 24 Sept in which Los-Angeles based artist and psychic Asher Hartman will lead a demonstration and workshop in psychometry; and Eating the Edifice on 12 November 2016, an illustrated lecture/ demonstration by food historian and artist Ivan Day which outlines the evolution of edible table art from the early Renaissance to the 19th century.