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Candice Lin, La Charada China (Tobacco Version), 2019, cement with casein paint, welded steel table frame, tobacco, ceramics, distillation system, poppy-pod putty, sugarcane, white sugar, cacao, sage, ackee, oak gall, Adenanthera, dong quai, California clay, Dominican Republic clay, metal parts, bucket, pumps, tubing, dried indigo, glass slides, bottles, drawings, tile, rubber, wood, dimensions variable. Photo: Kell Yang-Sammataro.

Candice Lin

François Ghebaly

The first room of Candice Lin’s solo exhibition at François Ghebaly was organized around La Charada China (Tobacco Version), 2019, an altar-like assemblage featuring the prone silhouette of a humanoid figure made from dried, pressed tobacco leaves. As in previous installations, for this work Lin cleverly deployed a host of “natural” materials (the scare quotes are necessary, given Lin’s penchant for reframing the ideological categories that have historically structured our experience of the world) to signify global histories of exploitation and colonial violence. Clay from California and the Dominican Republic was shaped into meat tenderizers and offering vessels; a tincture of poppy, tea, sugar, tobacco, and piss was gunkily distilling in a centrally placed flask. These elements, when taken together, outlined a history of Chinese immigration to Cuba in the mid-nineteenth century: Over

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