Monica Bonvicini’s art explores the experience of space and architecture. Her large-scale installations and sculptures, which often make use of the art institution’s own architecture, critically address the Western architectural tradition to reveal how a culture’s values infuse each and every building block of its construction.
Thematically, Bonvicini works amongst a tradition of contemporary art where artists question the idea of perception within the exhibition space as well as in relation to art history. She often uses industrial materials like glass, metal and chain in her works, exploring and redefining their functions. One of the most distinct characteristics of her art is its physical concreteness, the way it violently addresses and directly influences the observers’ experience of the room.
The exhibition at Bonniers Konsthall presents several of Bonvicini’s prominent works from the late 1990s to today. Her floor-piece Plastered will cover a large portion of the Konsthall. The ongoing work What does your wife/girlfriend think of your rough and dry hands? is exhibited in its entirety, with additional questionnaires being filled out in Stockholm. This work is a series of questionnaires which have been distributed to hundreds of construction workers in different countries, asking such daring questions as, ‘What makes construction workers so appealing?’ and ‘Who would you like to have up against the wall?’ Bonvicini uses aggression and humour to make us ponder how architecture and buildings are connected to sexuality and power. The exhibition also features a series of Bonvicini’s later works, including the text-based, large-scale sculpture NOT FOR YOU, one of her double swings, and a screen-print drawing on safety glass.