.... Writing around 1450, the Italian sculptor, engineer, architect and architecture theoretician Filarete... compares the architect to a mother who conceives and gives birth to a child—the building. 'When this birth is accomplished—that is, when he has made in wood a small relief design of its final form, measured and proportioned to the finished building—he then shows it to the father.' In this fable of creation, the 'father' is represented as the patron, and like Plato's demiurge, or craftsman, the architect does not create a complete building, but rather its model in scale relief*
Galerie Krinzinger is pleased to announce the first solo show of Monica Bonvicini in its main gallery's space.
The title of the show STAGECAGE is a play on words originated from the exhibition StageCraft at Columbia University and also the title of the new sculptures, aluminium models of family houses. Arranged in different constellations they echo the architectural installation As Walls keep Shifting (2019). Held together by leather belts, decorated with knots of watches they create an uncanny narrativity that clashes against the exceptionally perfect and cool cuts of the aluminium structures. It explicates Monica Bonvicini's artistic involvement with architecture and the intrinsic relationship it has to history, memory and exertions of power. The sculptures on mirror tables are both stage and staged, they investigate the entanglement of place- and identity-making. Bonvicini takes the act of 'building a house' as an artistic exercise filling it up with feminist desires and witty fancies, permanently shifting its forms and concepts. The bare nature of the structure reveals both the beginning and the end of architecture; both the metaphorical construction of all buildings, as domestic, habitual, and socially regulating spaces.
What is the meaning of home is also visible and literally replicated in the new Murano glass sculptures Come on Home (2021). The artist takes the title from the lyrics of Aretha Franklin well known and powerful song Chain of Fools, in which an emotional displacement finds an apparent assurance in the father's voice. From the sprayed drawings of Never Tire (2020) to the large-scale installation Be Your Mirror (2020) to the new sculptures Stagecage (2021) the show offers a reflection on the continuous involvement and research of Bonvicini around the establishment of private and public space altogether and its discontents, such as isolation, exclusionary dynamics, disappointment, and the rise of reactionary feelings.
In Be Your Mirror (2020), the architecture of the gallery and further of the museum, is taken as a starting point for reflecting on its own function. The clear image of the gallery's visitors into the polished aluminium is a reminder that everything that shines is the product of hard, continuous labour and care.
Whether in the context of protests as explored in the elaborate series of spray drawing on paper mounted on aluminium plates NEVER TIRE, in Pendant (Guilt) #2 (2020), the new hanging LED sculptures Striplight (2021), the sculpture EternMale (2020), iconic Guhl's Eternit Chairs covered up in a leather apron, or the new neon work Joy, Power, Humor & Resistance (2021), the show presents the visitor with familiar totems of constructs and architecture to address the relationship between design, labour, gender, and the economy of the built environments.
Monica Bonvicini (born in 1965 in Venice, Italy)
Monica Bonvicini has earned several awards, including the Golden Lion at the Biennale di Venezia 1999; the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst from the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin 2005; the Rolandpreis für Kunst for art in the public from the Foundation Bremen, Germany 2013, the Hans Platschek Prize for art and writing, Germany 2019, the Oskar Kokoschka Prize, Austria 2020. Her work has been featured in many prominent biennials, including Berlin 1998, 2004, 2014, Istanbul 2003, 2017, Gwangju 2006, New Orleans 2008, and Venice 1999, 2001, 2005, 2011, 2015 as well as La TriennaIe Paris 2012. She has had solo exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris 2002, Modern Art Oxford, England (UK) 2003, Secession, Vienna 2003, Staedtisches Museum Abteiberg 2005, 2012, Sculpture Center 2007, The Art Institute of Chicago 2009, the Kunstmuseum Basel 2009, Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou (FR) 2009, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel 2011, Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malága (ES) 2011, the Deichtorhallen Hamburg 2012, BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England (UK) 2016, Berlinische Galerie 2017, Belvedere 21, Vienna 2019 and Kunsthalle Bielefeld 2020. Permanent sculptures in public spaces RUN 2012 in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, Hun ligger / She lies (2013) in the harbour basin of Oslo in front of the Opera House and Stairway to Hell (2003) in Istanbul Modern. Monica Bonvicini lives and works in Berlin.
In 2003, she assumed the professorship of Performative Arts and Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, before she was appointed Professor of Sculpture at the Universität der Künste Berlin in 2017. She lives and works in Berlin.
Press release courtesy Galerie Krinzinger.