A multimedia artist, Monica Bonvicini trained first in Berlin and then at the California Institute of the Arts (CA), where she was a student of Michael Asher, a key figure in US Conceptual Art. Already starting from her first works, such as “I muri 2” (1992) and “Hausfrau Swinging”(1997), it was clear that the artist’s interest lay in investigating certain subjects, such as space and architecture, in an analytical and critical way; these subjects are apparently neutral, but in reality they have complex underlying relationships of power, control, identity and gender. Growing up in the 1970s in Italy, during a period characterised by particularly violent political events, Bonvicini has remained influenced by this and has identified a function closely connected to the social sphere in her work. Consequently her works are developed in close relationship with the location where they are exhibited and with those who find themselves interacting with them.
Characterised by a piercing sense of humour, her works are constructed with industrial-type materials, such as neon lights, metal and glass, often in association with objects reminiscent of the world fetishism, such as ropes, straps and chains. In 2010 the artist installed a large floating public sculpture in the Port of Oslo. Inspired by the icescapes of Caspar David Friedrich, the work alludes to the adventurous journeys made in the past in the Arctic, while at the same time referencing the present and the issue of global warming.
Photo © Agostino Osio, Alto Piano
Lives and works: in Berlin
Solo and group exhibitions and projects
Fondazione Berengo, Venezia (2017); BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art, Newcastle (2016-2017); La TriennaIe Paris, Parigi (2012); Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malága, Malaga (2011); The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2009); Palais de Tokyo, Parigi (2002); Biennale di Venezia (2015, 2011, 2005, 2001, 1999); Biennale di Berlino, (2014, 2003, 1998); Biennale di Istanbul (2003).