Candice Lin: Lithium Sex Demons in the Factory

22 Sep 2023 – 16 Dec 2023

Regular hours

12:00 – 18:00
12:00 – 18:00
12:00 – 18:00
12:00 – 18:00
12:00 – 18:00

Save Event: Candice Lin: Lithium Sex Demons in the Factory4

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Canal Projects

New York
New York, United States


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"Lithium Sex Demons in the Factory" is a site-specific project that replicates a lithium battery factory, giving continuity to the Candice Lin's ongoing research on globalization and trade networks, materiality, and labor.


Canal Projects is pleased to present Lithium Sex Demons in the Factory (September 22–December 15, 2023), co-produced and commissioned by Canal Projects and the 14th Gwangju Biennale, curated by Sook-Kyung Lee.

The multimedia installation juxtaposes a complex narrative of queer love, toxicity, and labor. Emulating a precarious lithium battery factory, a large platform lies at the center of the gallery at Canal Projects creating a vantage point from where visitors can interact by taking on the surveillance gaze of a factory manager.

On the ground, six workstations are filled with ceramic sculptures containing sound, video animations, and printed texts that narrate the fictional lives of the lithium sex demons. Developed from a short text written by the artist, the video animations tell the story of a sex demon’s quest to return from the dead to their lover in a lithium battery factory. Set among the fumes of soldering smoke the videos describe the banality of an assembly line possessed with dreams and passions that refuse to die. The story of the sex demon is a fiction that draws from various Asian myths and ghost lore, such as the Chinese hungry ghosts (èguǐ), Japanese shit-eating ghosts (gaki), and Malay penanggal that feast on menstrual blood. The demonic possession of factory workers has a basis in reality, as documented by the scholar Aihwa Ong. In Lin’s work, however, these testimonies of toxicity become entwined with a story of bodily desire in the spiritual world creating multiple layers around labor politics, queer love, and the materiality of our contemporary world.

Touching on a complex web of issues that relate to the histories of mass production, the installation focuses on the extraction and production of lithium, a mineral that powers global mass consumption and is also used in ceramic production. Lithium Sex Demons in the Factory consists of ceramic fermentation vessels connected by tubing to manufacturing workstations, mounted with ceramic computers and time clocks, whirring machines, and flickering motion-activated lights.

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Candice Lin


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