Review: Candice Lin explores the unruliness of the natural order at Francois Ghebaly Gallery


Candice Lin’s latest exhibition at François Ghebaly advances a new world order, or at least an alternative worldview: Relationships we think of as transgressive or parasitical are really just expressions of universal oneness.

The gallery’s front room is dominated by a large, gray sculpture of a hollowed-out insect head. On the floor inside are flesh-colored rugs with candles and a small offering tray. Titled “You are a parasite,” it not only situates us as the invasive presence, but does so within the trappings of a sacred space.

SIGN UP for the free Essential Arts & Culture newsletter >>


Lin also riffs on the Golden Record sent into space on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. In an illustration etched on her disc’s surface, she replaces Voyager’s human-centric view with one in which bacteria is central, and in which animals are intertwined with one-celled organisms, fungi and plants.

The most affecting pieces are mixed-media collages highlighting natural phenomena that defy our attempts to classify them. There’s the female insect with a penis that penetrates the male to extract sperm, human males who have been known to lactate, and a fungus that grows inside a tarantula, completely overtaking its body.

The collages are little windows into nature’s unruliness. From the bacteria in our guts to the way we are gutting the planet, we are already both hosts and parasites. Lin asks us to own it and succumb.

François Ghebaly Gallery, 2245 E. Washington Blvd. (323) 282-5187, through Oct. 24. Closed Sundays and Mondays.


Dan McCarthy’s ‘Facepots’: The smiles never end in this L.A. world


The recession and its discontents in films by Cao Fei at the Mistake Room

A first solo exhibition in L.A., drawing on Howardena Pindell’s long career