press release

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to present an exhibition of installations and drawings by Berlin based artist Monica Bonvicini. The imposing large-scale word sculptures, SATISFY ME (big) (2010), Built for Crime (2006) and the electrically powered installation Identify Protection (2006) are presented in Berlin for the first time while Off the Grid (2011 - 2012), four large-scale drawings, as well as NeedleKnows (2012), 200 works on paper depicting pliers stitched in red yarn, have been produced specifically for the exhibition.

The artist's eclectic oeuvre can be characterized by the use of traditionally associated "masculine" materials she combines with industrial items such as light bulbs, glass, polished steel and fetishism related leather, rubber and chains. Her media varies from sculpture, installation, photography and video to works on paper.

In this exhibition, Monica Bonvicini revisits some of the themes which have become emblematic of her practice in the last decade, namely work that explores specific conventions and investigate the relationship between space, power and gender. Bonvicini's phrases or idioms, once erected, become sculptures. The titles, texts and words underscore her views on the beliefs as well as the malfunctions of our (capitalist) society.

SATISFY ME (big), made of acrylic glass letters, has been firstly installed outdoors on a garbage dump in the Emsland region. The ambiguous title seems to summon the viewer whose narcissistic impulse will be triggered by the reflecting surfaces. The same physical concreteness and the commanding way in which it addresses the observer's experience of the room can be applied to Built for Crime. In this work, words are assembled in bright light bulbs, which are screwed into freely suspended letters made of broken security glass. The viewer is thus confronted with a choreography of dazzling lights which are reflected in the other featured works.

Identify Protection with its somehow obscure title is more directly related to the clichés and fantasies of sadomasochistic acts and scenes as well as building construction workers. The suspended sculpture consists of six tower harnesses as used by the latter. They are varnished in black liquid rubber and mounted with steel chains on a steel ring set in motion per electronic interval timer.

Equal to the grand gestures as carried out in her expansive mises en scenes are the over-scaled drawings Off the Grid featuring patterns reminiscent of strings and chains. Heavy steel chains are recurrent elements of Bonvicini's sculptures and large scale installations. Words such as RUN or RAGE, sometimes mirrored, capture the attention of the viewer. In NeddleKnows, needle-nose pliers embroidered on paper echo the early leather tools which were presented on pedestals: hammers of different types, axes, wrenches and trowels.

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Monica Bonvicini
Ort: Oudenarder Straße 16-20