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Cady Noland Deep Social Space, 1989

Deep Social Space

Artwork Factory


Numerous objects are arranged around three metal scaffolding poles: kettle grill, beer cans, burger buns, American flag, chips and a Marlboro garbage can, plus some insignia of rural America, such as horse saddles and blankets. But the scaffolding poles that frame everything create an unsettling, even aggressive mood and seem to prevent any free movement.

Associated modules

Genau hinsehen

Which materials and objects does Cady Noland use and from which walks of life do they come? 

A cowboy rides on his horse across the prairie and draws on a cigarette, happy middle-class families celebrate summer with barbecue and beer—the perfect ingredients for such an American idyll are presented in the installation “Deep Social Space, but we are far removed from the ideal world shown in the advertising images.

Cady Noland occupies herself with the society in her home country, the USA. Killing sprees and war, the violent tendencies of the police, and the death penalty are topics in the daily newspapers. But frustrations and aggression also enter the private sphere. Bars and fences stand for isolation, handcuffs and crutches represent punishment and injury. Here, consumer items such as beer and cigarettes do not stand for jolly garden parties, but rather create a grim atmosphere.

"Violence used to be part of life in America and had a positive reputation. [...] It was associated with an expression of justice—the break with England, the battle for our rights, the Boston Tea Party. Now, in our culture as it is [...] there is one official social norm—and acts of violence as expressions of dissatisfaction are framed in an atomized view as being ‘abnormal’."

Cady Noland


At first glance, the objects seem to be randomly arranged. But the museum team has to be very precise and pay attention to the correct arrangement of each element when installing the work.

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Artist Factory

Artist Cady Noland

was born in Washington, D.C., USA, in 1956.

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Artwork Factory

Artwork Cady Noland, Tanya as a Bandit, 1989

Almost life-size, the artist Cady Noland transfers a photo of a young woman onto an aluminum display by means of silkscreen. Holding a machine gun in her hands, the figure stands in our way. The photo comes from a newspaper, the caption becomes a pedestal.