Monica Bonvicini’s new exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie is an aural invasion. From most parts of the museum, the jangling buckles and leather tails of a 33-foot-long whip, titled Breathing, can be heard hitting the floor and walls. Along with the incessant slamming of a metal door, Bonvicini has crafted a jarring soundscape to house the rest of the museum’s collection of modern art from Berlin.
Since the 1990s, Bonvicini’s works have circled around the world of construction. Industrial materials, tools, and construction site supplies have been used and transformed into large installations or sculptures. She reveals the close connections between architecture and public spaces, the world of labor, gender and sexuality, as well as control, politics, power and representation. In Bonvicini’s eyes, buildings as well as urban and suburban infrastructure are by no means neutral, but on the contrary obsessive, politically ideological, and sexualized.
For this exhibition, the Italian-born, Berlin-based artist Monica Bonvicini bisected Mitchell-Innes & Nash's main space with a temporary wall supported by two small, dildolike "sculptures" in Murano glass resting on the floor. The installation, Structural Psychodrama #2 (2017), succinctly encapsulated the central theme of her work over the last twenty years: the imbrication of sex and architecture through relationships between the body and its shelters, barriers, props, and frames. As Bonvicini put it in a 2004 interview, "You have something under your belt and something over your head. And you need both."
RE pleasure RUN” is Bonvicini’s first New York exhibition in 10 years. Fittingly, it could be thought of as a kind of mini-survey, bringing together all the predominant strains of the Italian-born, Berlin-based artist’s varied practice—namely wall-based installations, light and leather sculptures, found photo collages, works on paper, paints, and glass dildos. Over the course of her 30-year career, Bonvicini has explored through these projects issues around identity, structures of power, and the limits of language. And she has done so with her signature mixture of provocation, innuendo, and wit. The resulting message, if there is one, is often ambiguous.
The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, UK has announced that the four winners of its inaugural 2017 award are Jose Dávila, Eric N. Mack, Toni Schmale, and Shen Xin. Selected individually by Monica Bonvicini, Mike Nelson, Pedro Cabrita Reis, and Lorna Simpson, the four emerging artists will each be given a 13-week exhibition at the BALTIC (to open on June 30, 2017), £25,000 ($30,665) to create new works, and a £5,000 ($6,133) artist fee.
Monica Bonvicini was born in the 60s in Venice and finished her studies at California Insitute of Arts and in Berlin in 1992. Her work since–dipping between installation, sculpture, video and drawing–has been influenced by architecture, exploring both public and private spaces, and is often noted to have sprung from the sex clubs that the artist found herself frequenting during the 90s.
In this interview with the art historian Alexander Alberro excerpted from Phaidon’s Monica Bonvicini, Bonvicini sheds light on her famously brash use of materials, the liberating nature of BDSM clubs, and how the personal is always political, even when we least expect it.
An exhibition of provocative, large-scale installations by Monica Bonvicini is on display at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead through February 26, 2017.
Italian artist Monica Bonvicini's practice has focused on two rather unusual themes: walls and sex. An extensive survey of the Berlin-based artist's work at Baltic Contemporary in Gateshead combines the two.
Fierce, mordant and confrontational, Monica Bonvicini aims to annoy at every turn in this bracing first UK survey.
Between the power drills, leather tassels and saucy builders’ humour, Italian artist Monica Bonvicini lets sadomasochism hang heavy in the air. But the audience frustratingly ends up neither master nor slave.
The Berlin-based artist has built her practice around interrogating the notion of identity through art, as her expansive new exhibition at the Baltic demonstrates.
Fetishism, Freud and transparent toilets - a brief guide to this great Italian artist’s work.