Corporeal Fluidity, Linguistic Flesh: Early Films by Lana Lin and one by Lin + Lam

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Curated by Morrison Gong.

“Woman’s writing becomes organic writing, nurturing-writing (nourricriture), resisting separation. It becomes a connoting material, a kneading dough, a linguistic flesh. And it draws its corporeal fluidity from images of water.” — Trinh T. Minh-ha, Woman, Native, Other

Microscope is very pleased to present an online evening of moving image works by New York-based artist Lana Lin, organized by Morrison Gong. The program includes a selection of seven short works by Lin — including a collaboration with H. Lan Thao Lam — made between 1992 and 2005 on both 16mm film and digital video.

From Morrison Gong:
“The works included in the program were made over the past 20 years – from Lin’s 16mm film “I Begin to Know You” made in 1992, a found footage collage depicting historical images of women in domestic settings, to her 2015 video “Moby Ovary and Madame Dick” that draws inspiration from thematic connections between two literary classics. Also included in the program is Lin’s collaborative project “Unidentified Vietnam No. 18” with H. Lan Thao Lam (Lin + Lam), in which they re-edit U.S. sponsored Vietnamese propaganda films to question structured and internalized national policies.

Lin’s films focus on discourses of identification and ethnographic landscape. Her works examine the product of gendered and racialized power dynamics implied in media representation. Lin’s Taiwanese heritage, as well as her Western upbringing, are two colliding waves that exchange and explore problems of translation across cultures.

Flux is a constant motif in Lin’s films. It not only symbolizes migration and transient bodies, but also acts as a conduit for cultural and linguistic memories. In her 1995 film “Stranger Baby”, the glistening texture of streaming water contrasts with the soft skin of a baby playing in it. Water is the bearer of a newborn, a new meaning. Whereas in “Mizu Shobai (Water Business)”, water speaks to a kind of sentimentality in both Japanese language and a mythic understanding of “the geisha’s” lifestyle; it carries more of an idiomatic significance. Moreover, Lin’s mixed usage of languages and audio materials echoes how translation functions as the foundation of ethnographic subjectivity. The layered soundtracks, paired with the filmic images, create speculative and evocative spaces for the spectators.”

Lin and Gong will be in attendance for the Q&A with the audience which will follow the screening via live chat at 9pm ET.

A link to watch will go live on Monday September 20th at 7pm on this page.

Lana Lin is an artist, filmmaker, and writer who has made experimental films since the early 1990s and collaborative mixed media projects as ‘Lin + Lam’ since 2001. Her work examines the fragilities and contradictions of human and discursive bodies, emphasizing the conceptual and poetic capacities of moving image media. Her art and films have been shown at international venues including the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Barcelona International Women’s Film Festival 2020, BAMcinemaFest 2019, Oberhausen Film Festival, Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival, REDCAT contemporary arts center, Los Angeles, Busan Biennale 2018, Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum, NY, Stedelijk Museum, Gasworks and Whitechapel Gallery, London. She has been awarded fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, MacDowell, Wexner Center for the Arts, and Vera List Center for Art and Politics, among others. Her feature, The Cancer Journals Revisited (2018), won the Favorite Experimental Film Award at BlackStar Film Festival, Philadelphia and Best Feature Documentary at the San Diego Asian Film Festival. Her most recent film, Three Missing Letters, made with H. Lan Thao Lam, has screened at the Nepal America Film Festival, Onion City Film Festival, and European Media Art Festival, Osnabrück, Germany.

Morrison Gong (b. 1997, China) is a photographer and filmmaker whose work explores their fear of loss through expressions of sexuality. Placing nude bodies within natural environments, as well as around cultural artifacts, they record personal experiences of carnality in contexts of seduction, displacement and ephemeral beauty. Gong received their BFA from Parsons School of Design and is currently a MA candidate at the New School for Social Research. Their works have been shown at Anthology Film Archives, Microscope Gallery, Vox Populi Gallery, Crossroads presented by the SF Cinematheque (upcoming), the Filmmakers Cooperatives, Manhattan Independent Film Festival, Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival, among others. They are based in Brooklyn, NY.


Monday, September 20, 2021 - 19:30



Monday, September 20, 2021 - 19:30