Breathing, 2017

Basel 2019
Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Installation
Steel structure, compressed air cylinder, compressor, rope, synthetic fiber, leather belts
For over 20 years, Monica Bonvicini has been creating sculptures and large-scale installations, drawings, videos, and photographs, to investigate the relationship between architecture and gender roles, sexuality and psychology, control and power. Her works question contemporary socio-political realities, the meaning of making art, and the ambiguity of language through a personal visual style and distinctive dry humor. A hanging sculpture made of leather belts moves through the space, loudly sweeping across and hitting the floor. The screeching and metallic noises of the belts crushing on the surface are accompanied by the industrial sound created by the pneumatic pistons that keep the installation in motion. The resulting movements are precisely programmed into a choreography reminiscent of a dance or a forced and repetitive mantra. Breathing is the title of the performative sculpture, frightening and meditative at once; the moving object, in the shape of a witch’s broom or an oversized whip, refers to contemporary feminist politics and the presence of powerful female figures.