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Handcuffs and chain swings? Berlin exhibition explores relationship between gender and structure


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Berlin-based Italian artist Monica Bonvicini has been given free rein to remodel the massive and vibrant higher flooring of the New Nationwide Gallery (Neue Nationalgalerie) in Berlin.

Bonvicini was born in Venice, Italy, however moved to Berlin in 1986, three years earlier than the autumn of the Berlin Wall. She has lived there ever since, and it may be seen in her artwork.

She’s taken the chance to reevaluate the imposing modernist constructing created by the legendary architect Mies van der Rohe, which she describes as “one thing very near worry.”

The present options two massive architectural installations developed particularly for the house, together with a big mirror which divides the room and brings in much more pure mild. 

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“I needed to remodel the structure of Mies van der Rohe in some way in order that it may give the individuals who will come and see the present a special view on the structure,” explains Bonvicini. 

“But additionally, on town which you could see very properly round, via the glass facade,” she says.

“Very very like Berlin”

Along with her massive scale architectural interventions, a number of of Bonvicini’s sculptures are on show, together with her interactive “Chain Swings”, which guests are inspired to work together with. The work maybe acts as a nod to the nightclubs of town which are usually housed in run-down industrial buildings.

The exhibition additionally focuses on mild – not simply the abundance of pure mild that flows via the big home windows of the museum, but in addition mild installations hanging from the ceiling. 

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For a instance, a sequence of latest mild works, consisting of LED neon tubes hand-woven with electrical cables, illuminate a nook of the corridor as a sculptural construction. 

Altering the masculine aura

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The exhibition is an try to vary the masculine aura of the room, based on the director of the museum, Klaus Biesenbach.

“She makes the constructing extra female,” says Biesenbach.

“Her strategy is an strategy of participation. You possibly can truly be a part of this exhibition. You possibly can lie in a series bench. You possibly can climb up. {The handcuffs}, you’ll be able to handcuff your self. Sounds very very like Berlin however sounds additionally very very like Monica Bonvicini,” he provides. 

Moreover, whereas strolling on the terrace across the glass corridor, guests can take heed to a sound piece titled “Retrospective” (2022), which highlights Bonvicini’s conceptual use of language: a voice recites quite a few titles of artworks that Bonvicini has created over three many years. 

The exhibition titled “I do you” by Monica Bonvicini opens to the general public on 25 November and runs via 30 April 2023.

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Take a look at the video for a sneak peek inside the brand new exhibition.


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