lana lin


Lana Lin

20 September 2012 – 18 November 2012

Gasworks presents the first UK solo exhibition by New York-based artist Lana Lin.

Since the early 1990s, Lin has developed a rich body of film and order prescription viagra video work dealing with processes of identification and the politics of translation. Her practice is largely informed by experimental and documentary filmmaking and raises questions about the implications of media representation – and the sense of estrangement it can produce – for an understanding of constructs such as language, nationality and cultural identity.

This exhibition presents three of the artist’s key works from the 1990s and early 2000s. Often concerned with Lin’s relationship to her Taiwanese cultural heritage, these films speculate on the problems of translation across cultures – whether between the so-called East and West, or between our world and other worlds.

Stranger Baby (1995) is a 16mm mock science fiction film that explores what it means to be normal or considered ‘alien’. We see a woman haunted by an androgynous apparition and curious faces flickering on a television screen. This is overlaid with a soundtrack composed of viewers’ speculations on the film’s images. Their conflicting responses, marked by anxiety, reveal ready-made, and often racially driven, assumptions.

The 4-channel video installation Mysterial Power (1998–2002) documents the struggle of the artist as both an observer of, and participant in, the daily routines and religious practices of her Taiwanese family. Inspired by Lin’s adolescent cousin – who is believed to be able to communicate with a Taiwanese god – this work focuses on the figure of the spiritual medium as a translator between different realms of experience: the everyday and the supernatural. Mediating between the strange and familiar, she offers a shifting vantage point from which to view cultural constructions of belief and knowledge.

Taiwan Video Club (1999) introduces an underground world of television piracy in Taiwan. The protagonists record and trade videotapes of their favourite ‘epics’, broadcast daily on television. Focusing on their fanaticism and the materiality of the recording process, this video draws a connection between electronic and cultural forms of translation.