MONICA BONVICINI | I DON'T LIKE YOU VERY MUCH

KUNSTHAUS GRAZ
22 APRIL – 21 AUGUST 2022

I Don‘t Like You Very Much... and I don‘t think you are fascinating. This is the continuation of the quote from which the title of the show is taken.From poetry to literature, the use of quotations – their re-editing, the use of language in drawings, graphical works, but also in sculptures and large-scale public pieces – is key to Bonvicini’s work. In reference to the cut-up technique used by many Dada artists and further articulated, by, among others, William S. Borroughs, Bonvicini cuts through narratives that belonging to history, social and economical issues, in a way that destabilizes space – of institutions, and public as well as private spheres.For the show at Kunsthaus Graz, Bonvicini presents a wide range of works, from the video, I See a White Building, Pink and Blue, 2020, to a series of colour documentary photography, Italian Homes, 2019, to an architectural construction, As Walls Keep Shifting, installed specifically for the space.At the entrance to the exhibition, a video projection welcomes viewers, submerging them into psychedelic colours while the constant rhythm of its sound fills the space,  literally setting the tone for the entire show. Bonvicini's title is taken from the British neurologist Oliver Sacks speaking about a woman who experienced hallucinations.The large-scale wooden architectural installation, As Walls Keep Shifting, is a three-dimensional rendering of an architectural cut-up technique. First presented in the space of OGR in Turin, then re-built anew in Busan for the Biennial in 2020, the sculpture is a 1:1 reproduction of one half of the photographed houses. The sustainable construction in wood is built in the typical American Balloon Frame style. In the early 1990s, Bonvicini studied at Cal Arts, where she took pictures of gated community houses under construction in the area around Valencia, California. The title of the work comes from the book House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, 2000, a story told in multiple voices from a family trying to fix the ideal house in the countryside, until the indescribable reality of measurements takes a dark turn.For Kunsthaus Graz, As Walls Keep Shifting, is literally cut into three parts, carefully arranged in the space in perpetual balance as if a hurricane would have passed by and twisted the property around. As in Buster Keaton‘s silent movie, A Week, produced and directed almost 100 years ago, the idyllic concept of the house as a nest for security and love is dismantled, far from ever becoming reality. A sound piece, tracking the song Our House by Graham Nash, written for Joni Mitchell in 1970, is annoyingly invading the exhibition space.A new edition of Breach of Décor, 2020, the neon piece Love Never Win, 2022, Pleasant, 2021 as well as works from 2022 are displayed accompanying the central installation. In the Needle space the new installation, You to Me, 2022, specifically created for the space, offers a reflection on the role of the audience and the commodification of the body, through an extreme act of displacement, where the intimacy of sex or violence is dismantled and brought into the open stage of the art institution, almost en plain air, above the rooftops of Graz.

Kunsthaus Graz in collaboration with Kunstmuseum Winterthur, where a new show with around 70 drawings from the series Hurricane and Other Catastrophes will open on the 9 September, and will be accompanied by a substantial catalog of works by Bonvicini, addressing the production of the last 20 years and focusing on her critical perspective on issues around domesticity, home, identity, art history, and architecture.

© Monica Bonvicini, Bildrecht, Wien 2022
© Images Kunsthaus Graz, Martin Grabner