Ordinary Rendition began from a thought: torture devices are furniture too. As a maker, I understand taking pride in creating physical objects meant to serve a very specific purpose, and the water board is just that. It supports the body, it provides a setting for the body to interact with its surroundings. Like all furniture, it is made by someone, more or less skilled at making, for a specific purpose. But, unlike most furniture throughout history, that sole purpose is turned on its head. What differentiates one from the other? Would not the same maker tasked with building the town’s desks, chairs, and cabinetry, be tasked with creating a strong, durable pillory for the town square? These forms are as interconnected as any other in the world of objects, because objects require context of both place and time, and their uses are fluid.
Violence seems a constant for us. Cruelty is nothing new, but the variety of media we have access to now magnifies it. To what degree can we adapt and move on as we see graphic violence being inflicted on those less fortunate, by those seeking to gain information, exert power, or simply cause pain for fun? The objects in this exhibition conflate graphic violence in our culture, with something so domestic, so familiar, so linked to comfort and belonging, that we are meant to consider our own roll in torture and violence. These are all of our histories, just as the styles and trends of furniture, fashion, and music are.
Ordinary Rendition looks at a present and future in which exposure to violence, and complacency bring violent torture into the home. Not for pleasure, which is another story altogether, but for the regular and systematic punishment of those who do not see eye to eye with us; to gain the information we want; to exert our power and re-establish dominance. Ordinary rendition places this dystopic vision into the domestic realm in the form of a sleek, modern, even hip furniture line. Consider your living room, den, family room, with these objects amongst your other possessions. What are you waiting for? Live in style. Impress your friends. Goes with the sofa. Nothing extraordinary here, just simple living and elegance for the modern home. A line that says as much about you, as you will say about it.