In its first public program in nearly two years, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts has mounted Candice Lin’s immersive “Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping,” a multimedia exhibition that pays specific attention to the experience of isolation during the pandemic.
Lin, who is based in Los Angeles, is known for her deep research into artmaking materials, craft methods, and cultural touchstones as well as her use of textiles, dye, ceramics, video animation, drawing, and many other practices to create installations. “Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping” uses these craft forms to engage with anxieties of the pandemic, intimacy, climate change, and colonialism.
“With this project, Lin coaxes viewers into the artist’s position, asking them to engage in a similar kind of tactile exploration as a means to relearn, after a year of isolation, the ways in which physical proximity and haptics produce unexpected (and often pleasurably destabilizing) relationships to both knowledge and other people,” Dan Byers, John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director at the Carpenter Center and a lecturer on Art, Film, and Visual Studies, wrote in an essay for the exhibition catalogue.
In one room, a video called “Millifree Work Weary Free Video (Qi Gong)” shows a “cat demon” — one of many that appear across the exhibition — leading qi gong movements against a stark, rocky backdrop following an earthquake. Like so many mobile exercise and mindfulness videos made popular during the pandemic, this one also features pop-up advertisements and spam texts, highlighting just how difficult it can be to relax in a screen-mediated world.