Monica Bonvicini

(b. 1965)

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(1965– )

Italian artist, born in Venice and active in Berlin. She studied with the Conceptual and installation artist Michael Asher. Her work, which takes the form of video, installation, and sculpture, is a critique of modernist architecture and explores the element of aggression within the purity. Bullet holes and chains are regular motifs in her work. An example is Built for Crime, installed at Tate Liverpool in 2006. The title is spelt out in lights and the work is made of shatterproof glass, which has received sufficiently strong blows to make it crack. Glass was the classic material of the great pioneers of modern architecture Gropius and Mies van der Rohe (see Bauhaus). With the aid of steel-frame construction theirs was a new kind of building, supposedly lighter and more open. Now glass is the line of defence in an increasingly aggressive society. Bonvicini sees in such architecture a kind of fetishism of material. Don't Miss a Sec (2003–4) is a public toilet encased in a see-through enclosure. This referred to the idea of the social reformer Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) concerning the Panopticon, the prison in which the inmates could at no moment be sure that they were not being watched. It had a particular significance when it was displayed in a London square which Bentham had once proposed as the site for such a prison.

http://www.flashartonline.com/interno.php?pagina=intervista_det&id_art=32&det=ok Monica Bonvicini interview with Massimiliano Gioni, ‘Destroy she Says’, Flash Art website.

Subjects: Art.

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