Candice Lin and Patrick Staff, Hormonal Fog, 2017. Mixed media installation; dimensions variable. PHOTO: Ian Byers-Gamber. Courtesy of the Artists, Human Resources, and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles.



The (Invisible) Garden III

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  • Gallery and Online


STRESSED HERMS, SWEAT, & PERIOD GAS. is an exhibition of Candice Lin and Patrick Staff's collaborative and individual works, inviting us to reconsider the terms of our shared vulnerability and flourishing through queer relationality and modes of being.

Expanded and re-presented specifically for the ICA gallery, their installation Hormonal Fog (2020) is based on their practice of reading counter narratives and botanical texts queerly. The artists have hacked machines and plants to generate a fog made with a homemade tincture of herbs that affect our hormones, which is vaporized and funneled into the surrounding air.  Scattered throughout are various organic and inorganic technologies of (meta)physical and (al)chemical transformation, along with crude utensils for transition into multiple phases and scales of matter. In this foggy situation, our already and always permeable, changing, and compromised state in the world is made clear. 

How we are all enmeshed is further imagined in Toxic Semiotics (2019), in paintings and a video by Candice Lin, rendering tangled stories of contagion and toxic interdependence, jumping scales from the microbial to geological, across organs and oceans, and through past and future millennia. In sculptures and a video by Patrick Staff, Bathing (2018) and Common Cup (2018), notions such as “toxicity” becomes slippery and “health and wellness” stumbles as social categories that rely on orders of difference and privilege.  

Together, the artists queer the terms of what is "natural" in how we are embodied, how we belong to ourselves as self-contained individuals, as species, and in relation to others and with the world. 

STRESSED HERMS, SWEAT, & PERIOD GAS. is accompanied by related events, including Full Moon Ritual: Toxic Sex, a collective ritual exercise led by the artists during the full moon on 30 November, followed by a conversation with the artists on 5 December at 11:00 (China Standard Time) online.

As with every season, the ICA will host Study Session on 15 October, 5 November, and 26 November at 13:00 in the ICA gallery.  ICA Study Sessions are guided conversations focusing on one work in one hour, based on curious exploration, critical reflection, and collective meaning making.  

Scroll down to “Related” below for more information on each event.

STRESSED HERMS, SWEAT, & PERIOD GAS. and its related events are presented as the third season of The (Invisible) Garden, the ICA’s 2019-21 artistic research program that inquires into the garden as a method that shapes our understanding of Nature and our relationships to other species. For four seasons, from Fall 2019 through Spring 2021, the ICA at NYU Shanghai will present artists, thinkers, and practitioners, through exhibitions and events, to consider the garden and ask how might we denature Nature? 

STRESSED HERMS, SWEAT, & PERIOD GAS., an exhibition by Candice Lin and Patrick Staff, is organized by Michelle Yeonho Hyun with ZHU Sicong, and additional support by SUN Yichen, SHI Yuying, LIN Siqi, CHEN Yijiao, and WANG Yuxin.  Design by The Exercises.  

We are grateful to François Ghebaly Gallery and Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles, Guangdong Times Museum, YUAN Yanyue, Alvin Li, and most deeply to the artists. 



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