Dual Restraint, by Nayland Blake, 1990

Nayland Blake, Artist
Dual Restraint , 1990

Canvas, brass, plastic
144 x 144 x 12 in. (356.8 x 356.8 x 30.5 cm)
Credit Line
Collection of Ruth and Jacob Bloom. Installation view at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; photography by Brian Forrest

Dual Restraint is an oversize straitjacket designed to accommodate two bodies. Its sagging form suggests wear and tear, and its empty compartments make room for psychic projection, encouraging viewers to imagine themselves or someone else occupying the uninhabited spaces. It is not an entirely unwelcome proposal: even though Dual Restraint mimics a disciplinary garment, intended for physical control, it also conveys elective intimacy—suggesting that two people might choose to be in such a profoundly confined space together.