Nadim Abbas: Poor Toy
11. Juni – 25. August 2019
VITRINE, Basel will present a solo exhibition of work by Hong Kong-based artist Nadim Abbas opening during Art Basel. Abbas’ work encompasses installation, photography, performance, and sculpture, incorporating references from the domestic and the every day to explore how contemporary living conditions have produced particular psychological patterns, trends, and subcultures.
For ‘Poor Toy’, Abbas positions the domestic space as a site of horror. Using groupings of flatpack furniture, objects fabricated and sourced from mass-market retailers and second-hand stores, Abbas will arrange a supernatural domestic environment within VITRINE’s gallery space, which is sited on and visible from the public square. The objects will be “hacked,” with constructed materials or appendages attached to change their structure. Drawing heavily from the IKEA aesthetic that pervades homes around the world, the installation will embody the bland banality of this shared domestic language.
Alongside these sculptural arrangements, drawings will be displayed throughout the space. These hybrid works on paper will reference technical architectural drawings and floor plans, operating in conversation with the groupings of furniture.
Abbas’ work draws thematic inspiration from literature, science, and psychology. Weaving together historical and contemporary references from the horror genre, ‘Poor Toy’ pays homage to writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, whose short stories and novels frequently explore the domestic as a site for disturbing exchanges with supernatural forces.
Abbas’ rich and varied research is the driving force behind his making. Ultimately, though, the making process liberates the objects from the weight of these references, allowing the work to hold space and meaning independent of the research that inspired it.
Artist In-Conversation: Thursday 13 June 2019, 11am-12noon