The Neue Nationalgalerie is showing the influential work of artist Monica Bonvicini in a comprehensive solo exhibition. Entitled “I do You,” the exhibition features architectural installations developed especially for Mies van der Rohe’s building that open up unusual perspectives for visitors. The iconic museum space is thus re-evaluated as a highly physical space for reflection on the traditionally masculine connotation of the power of architecture.
In addition to the architectural interventions, selected sculptural works from Bonvicini’s oeuvre are on view for visitors* to interact with: For example, her usable “Chain Swings” (2009/2022) are integrated into the exhibition, swings designed for two people each, which create a visual connection to the Sadomaso club scene through their materiality of steel and chains.
A series of new light works, consisting of LED neon tubes interwoven by hand with electric cables, illuminate a corner of the hall as a sculptural structure. But also an object like “Blind Shot – Wallsucker” (2005) from the collection of the National Gallery is part of the exhibition, a drilling machine colored black with spray paint that starts moving loudly every five minutes above the heads of the visitors.
Also on view is the early work “2 Tonnen Alte Nationalgalerie” (1998), which consists of rubble removed from the classicist façade of the Alte Nationalgalerie. While walking around the glass hall on the terrace, visitors* will hear the new sound work “Retrospective” (2022), which uses the recitation of work titles by Bonvicini from the last three decades to illustrate her conceptual use of language.
In conjunction with other light, film, and sound works, the exhibition conveys Bonvicini’s diversity of media and her central themes of feminism and architecture, as well as the associated questioning of the role of the institution.