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monica bonvicini's 'I do you' reflects on the male-dominated power of architecture

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‘I do you’ by monica bonvicini

 

Monica Bonvicini’s sculptural interventions take over and illuminate the Neue Nationalgalerie, redefining the traditionally male-dominated power of architecture. Her provocative artworks, including site-specific installations, sculptural objects, and performative and sound pieces, examine the link between gender roles, feminism and architecture, as well as question the role of the institution. Through her practice, the Berlin-based artist is focused on the cliches and hidden ideologies around gender-specific classifications in Western modernism.

 

designboom visited the opening at the iconic building designed by Mies van der Rohe and captured a feminist appropriation of the space, which Monica has fundamentally changed by means of architectural interventions. Deliberately kept vague, the title can also be perceived as ‘I want you’, opening up different perspectives for the audience to experience. On view from 25.11.2022 until 30.4.2023, the exhibition can be understood as an attack on a chauvinistic supremacy in architecture in order to retake the space.

 

monica bonvicini's 'I do you' reflects on the traditionally male-dominated power of architecture
Monica Bonvicini, Upper Floor, 2022, Ausstellungsansicht Neue Nationalgalerie,
25.11.2022-30.4.2023 Courtesy the artist, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Galleria Raffaella Cortese,
Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Galerie KrinzingerCopyright the artist, VG-Bild Kunst, Bonn, 2022, /
Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jens Ziehe

full header video ©designboom

 

 

new perspectives enliven the museum’s space

 

A huge wall that leans against the high roof and towers above it blocks the entrance of the museum and shouts out the title of the exhibition. Inside the museum, a large-scale pedestal supports an accessible platform and enlarges the exhibition hall, offering new perspectives to the audience from an elevated point. The intervention defies the transparent nature of the space and opens up unfamiliar dimensions and illusions.

 

A huge mirrored wall wraps the platform, forcing guests to confront themselves and their presence in the space. The exhibition also accommodates a selection of pieces from Monica Bonvicini’s oeuvre from the 1990s to the present and occupies a completely redefined exhibition environment. Integrated into the exhibition’s space, the ‘Chainswings’ (2022), which is designed for two people, creates a visual connection to fetish actions and spaces through its materiality of steel and chains. Guests can engage with the swings suspended from the ceiling by long chains and experience the artwork as well as the space that unfolds beneath the platform. 

 

monica bonvicini's 'I do you' reflects on the traditionally male-dominated power of architecture
Monica Bonvicini, Breach of Decor, 2020-2022, Ausstellungsansicht Neue Nationalgalerie

 

Also on view is a series of new light works featuring LED neon tubes woven with electrical cables illuminating a corner of the hall. The exhibition also hosts the early work ‘2 Tonnen Alte Nationalgalerie’ (1998), which consists of vast amounts of rubble removed from the neo-classical facade of the Alte Nationalgalerie.

 

Wandering the terrace around the glass hall, visitors can hear the sound piece ‘Retrospective’ (2022), which highlights Bonvicini’s conceptual use of language: a voice repeats numerous titles of artworks that Bonvicini has created over the course of three decades. The exhibition emphasizes Bonvicini’s diversity of media and her central themes of feminism and architecture.

 

”I do You’ reflects on how we relate to space, how artworks and audiences affect the building itself, how architecture acts on the way we see and perceive environments,’ shares the artist.

monica bonvicini's 'I do you' reflects on the traditionally male-dominated power of architecture
Monica Bonvicini, Light Me Black, 2009, Ausstellungsansicht Neue Nationalgalerie

monica bonvicini's 'I do you' reflects on the traditionally male-dominated power of architecture
Monica Bonvicini, Lightworks, 2022

i-do-you-monica-bonvicini-feminist-appropriation-neue-nationalgalerie-designboom-1800

image ©designboom

monica bonvicini's 'I do you' reflects on the male-dominated power of architecture
image ©designboom

monica bonvicini's 'I do you' reflects on the male-dominated power of architecture
image ©designboom

monica bonvicini's 'I do you' reflects on the male-dominated power of architecture
image ©designboom

monica bonvicini's 'I do you' reflects on the male-dominated power of architecture
image ©designboom

i-do-you-monica-bonvicini-feminist-appropriation-neue-nationalgalerie-designboom-21800
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