Nick Modrzewski and Nabilah Nordin
Opening 01.05.19 6-8pm
Artist Talks 23.05.19 6-7pm
‘Dogs were once wolves. Now they are fluffy love-cushions.
We medicate them. We neuter them. We control their bodily functions. They are pampered, trimmed and trained until they are obedient. What are these creatures? What does their existence say about us, their “owners”?
Humans have kept pets since ancient times. There were domesticated wildcats in Egypt in 3500 BC. Dogs have long adorned the laps of Kings, Queens and Emperors.
But what does it mean to own a pet today? We live in an age of uncertainty and anxiety. Climate change. Data collection. Surveillance. Identity crises.
Everything is unraveling. So, we return to the domestic space – and the animals we put there – as a last bastion of comfort and control. It gives us a sense of identity and purpose to own a pet. God is dead, so we become deities within our own homes. On the one hand, we treat our pets like royal decorations. On the other, we control every aspect of their lives. It is this strange love – a mixture of nurturing and dominance – that we are exploring in Love Cushions. We will create a crowd of shambolic sculptures. They will be both “soft” and “hard” – sewn, stuffed, mosaicked and cemented. They will fill Firstdraft’s Gallery 1, climbing the walls and hanging from the ceiling. They will adorn the floor – pedestals and statues depicting triumphant humans celebrating their power over subordinate pets.
Love Cushions is a portrait of contemporary idolatry, questioning an aspect of our lives that we so often take for granted.
Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski are an artist duo working between Australia and Singapore. They merge painting, film and performance within loosely constructed sculptural sets in galleries or public spaces. In their installations, they tell stories about power hierarchies. Whether it is a wedding, a political speech or a sporting match, narratives and social rituals are blended into abstract forms. It is within this context that anxious conversations take place about identity, sexuality, class and religion.
Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski, Studio shot (works in progress), Mixed media, 2019
Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski, Under Your Feet (A Musical), Mixed media, 2018
Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski, Vacuum Cleaning and Exotic Birds (Installation view), Mixed media, 2017