Candice Lin (b. 1979, Concord, Massachusetts) undertakes thoroughly researched projects that disinter stories buried in various archives. Her mixed-media installations bring to light facts from the past that seem fictional, especially in relation to the present, which is supposedly more enlightened than the old days of colonialism and conquest. The Los Angeles-based artist’s work is the research-oriented arm of conceptual art, a kind of historical exploration that is less interested in establishing its bona fides as art than in spreading out into a larger world, where its discoveries might link up with other endeavors to paint a more vivid picture of what it means to be alive today—and to do something about it. In a sense, Lin is a DIY ethnographer, a maverick scholar who communicates aesthetically, not in meticulously footnoted essays in esoteric journals but in ambitious installations that welcome contradictions and are wide open to diverse interpretations.

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