With his sculptures of multitudes of identical, disaffected, middle-aged men, Isaac Cordal critiques modern society’s emphasis on work and productivity. In our contemporary capitalist system, everything is thought of as a potential way to make profit — like public universities, which are becoming increasingly privatized and unaffordable here in the United States and in countries all over the world. This is the subject of Cordal’s latest piece, “The School,” where he imagines a university as a nightmarish factory with a skeletal overlord shouting instructions from a watchtower. “The school installation is a reflection of how education has become an industry where universities have become a business and students into customers,” said Cordal. “Benefit culture has destroyed the values of knowledge considering useless everything that is not productive.”
For Belgian fans of Cordal’s work, he currently has a solo show on view for ARTour Biennale in Houdeng-Aimeries. Titled “The New Old Slavery,” the show features several previous works set in dystopian, prison-like settings. “The New Old Slavery” is a “a reflection on the systems of production, human relationships and the fragility of the capitalist system.” Check out Cordal’s latest work below.