Fridman Gallery is pleased to present Don’t turn off the Light, the Brazilian artist Nino Cais’ second exhibition with the gallery.
The exhibition presents the artist’s take on male and female forms through installation, assemblages, and film. The artist utilizes his unique syntax, juxtaposing the banal and the fetishized, to create dreamlike unions of household objects and found photography.
The Last Raft is a room-sized installation combining overturned and dismembered furniture, glassware, and pills, with clippings of vintage erotica. The precarious placement of the photographs on glass, chair legs and the floor forces viewers to bow if they wish to examine the posing nudes. This role reversal challenges the traditional relationship between the observer and the observed, the voyeur and the nude.
Past is a series of assemblages comprised of male pin-ups set between the folds of button-down shirts. Traditionally, male nudity has been portrayed much less frequently than the female: after all, most exhibited artists and published photographers are men, conditioned to exert their heterosexual dominance. Neatly folded, yet revealing the repressed images, the dress shirts underscore the futility of social control over primal instincts.
Completing the exhibition is a film composed of vintage photographs of female nudes, which Cais found at an antique road show. The artist transforms and revitalizes the images which had been left for dead amidst the clutter of domestic life. Having been hypersexualized and discarded, the bodies acquire new form as actors in silent cinema of their own direction.
Nino Cais (Brazil, 1969) studied Art at Santa Marcelina University (Fasm) in São Paulo. Since graduating in 2001, he has participated in several exhibitions in Brazil, such as the 30th International São Paulo Biennial (2012) and the 3rd Bahia Biennial (2014), as well as in Mexico, France, USA, China, Portugal and Lithuania, where his works were exhibited at Kaunas Art Biennial TEXTILE 07.