Mousse 68: Out Now
“Walid Raad’s art brings us to different worlds, like ‘the’ Lebanon,” was the beginning of the opening speech for Raad’s show, delivered by the mayor of Amsterdam. Voluntarily or not, the naive statement exemplifies Western ignorance, being dismissive of Raad’s work thoroughly, which is showing the entanglement of power structures regardless of national borders.
This is my sadness, a sadness that I force upon myself: to build an object, done and finished, ready to play its role, which is that of being material, of being a commodity.
For the past decade, Los Angeles–based artist Candice Lin has investigated the cultures and histories embedded in objects and materials related to colonial trade, alternative healing practices, and bodily functions. These include tobacco, urine, and tea as well as live insects and dead animals—in other words, things that carry stranger textures, more pungent scents, and heavier burdens than typical art materials. She is also a skilled and endlessly curious craftsperson who transforms these things and the stories they tell into artworks that mobilize critical issues such as race, gender, and trauma in unconventional ways.
The objects all invite calm observation. Only one commands immediate attention. It is the mouse, stringing phrases together: “of course, in one sense, well,” and stuttering in a high-pitched voice. Its tiny mechanical face moves, as if struggling to return the viewers’ gaze, from the debris of a hole nibbled into the wall.