Jenny Lin is a multidisciplinary artist based in Montreal. In her recent practice, she has created alternative readings of mainstream narratives, particularly reframing the ambiguous and fragmented tropes in storytelling as sites for transgressive actions and identities. The media she most often works with include print media, video and drawing and she has worked within the formats of 2-D print, artist books and book objects, single channel video, multi-channel video installation, and site-specific installation. Some of her book projects were created in collaboration with Eloisa Aquino of B&D Press. Jenny Lin completed a BFA degree at the University of Calgary (1994-98) and an MFA at Concordia University (1998-2001). She currently teaches at Concordia University as a sessional instructor.
Telling stories is a significant part of my practice. I often build fictional narratives that refer to the familiar (such as the formulaic plotlines of mainstream television shows or heteronormativity within sports culture) into which I insert otherness or strangeness, as in identity-ambiguous behaviours, or even mediocrity within spaces that celebrate greatness. What interests me is to give attention to marginalized identities by highlighting the incidences of "oddity" that stray from the norm in great numbers.
Rather than clear-cut linear narrative events, I offer fragmented descriptive details of ambiguous tableaux. The viewer becomes a type of voyeur who is dropped into the midst of a scene and must try to put together the pieces or fill in the gaps to complete the narrative and find meaning within it. By doing so, the viewer might become implicated into participating in the act of categorizing and / or presuming meaning despite having incomplete signs.
My influences have included pop culture genres of storytelling such as horror, alien sci-fi, and melodrama, genres which peak my interest as landscapes ripe with the possibility to envision the "unimaginable" and to exaggerate the familiar so that it becomes foreign and extraordinary. Within the context of these genres, I have been interested, also, in the contradictions that occur when the strange and unimaginable are formulaically created so that they run full-circle and become somehow predictable and commonplace.
Of late, my explorations tend to travel to less fantastical forms of storytelling and more to the everyday as a setting for my narratives.