Apr 15, 2010

Introductions: Janet Lin

This week's MFA Fiber and Material Studies lecture will be presented by Janet Lin. She grew up in Texas and Taiwan then received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD in 2009.

Like the color pink, Lin's work is loaded with cultural history, stigma, and refuses to be invisible. Lin launched PrincessJaynet.com in 2009 as part of her BFA thesis exhibit at MICA. For this piece Lin took on the persona Jaynet. Her character shares some of her autobiographical traits but unlike Lin, Jaynet is a World Famous Taiwanese-American Pop Star. Jaynet's personal website includes a centerfold-esc spread, merchandise, streaming samples of her music, and connections to all major social media outlets.

Jaynet's songs address the American immigrant experience with a swagger that is both crude and charming. In her song Naturalization she sings, "Ever since I aced my immigration test/ I got America motherfucking obsessed/ And every time that bitches try to shit on my ass/ I tell them what I learned in government class/ Money! /America! /Freedom!" Lin uses sexuality to confront Orientalism and otherness in the middle-class. Her website is professional and flawless and she has convinced many visitors to her website that Jaynet is real. Jaynet's sleek presentation helps Lin turn marketing back in on itself with her own unique style of culture-jam.

In Lin's newest series she continues to use the body as a sight of protest and moves further into the realm of illusion. She views the separation of reality and fantasy as a culturally constructed binary system and her work strives to straddle the line between both. In one piece she has intercourse with a dildo-unicorn head. It includes one graphic sequence shot in a pristine manner that separates it from the trappings of amateur porn. Aside from herself and the dildo-unicorn the room is consumed with darkness. Her actions are not shocking because of the sex but because of her confidence. The piece provides a peak into her fantasies as she performs them. Lin uses the context of porn to transition the audience from viewer to voyeur and provokes them to take the on the male gaze.

You can see Janet Lin's dildo-unicorn intercourse for yourself. She will be screening it as part of her lecture on Thursday, April 15th at 12:10 in Sharp 903 at 37 S. Wabash St., Chicago, IL. If you miss it be sure to check out PrincessJaynet.com.

Next week's lecturer will be Mike Evans (Friday 4/23).

Some images blurred with the permission of the artist.