Stonewall, 2001

Installation view: The Ecologies of Peace. Works from the TBA21 Collection, Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía C3A, Córdoba, Spain, 2024. Photo: Imagen Subliminal (Rocio Romero y Miguel de Guzmán).

Steel scaffolding of galvanized iron pipes, galvanized steel chains, 40 locks, 3 panes of broken safety glass
200 x 520 x 447 cm

Stonewall invites the suspicion of confrontation and paradox. It is an expansive steel and glass construction—suggestive of a dysfunctional scaffold—that seems to ask for an addressee and a purpose. The grid structure, formed from knotted chains and reinforced with galvanized steel tubing, certainly does not present as a distinct medium comprehensible by the categories of sculpture and object alone. Instead, the way Stonewall is made and its appearance open up a variety of references, allowing the viewer to project its meaning and signification onto phenomena that exceed the object’s aesthetic reach: the rebellion of New York’s gay movement in 1969 associated by the work’s title, for instance, or the familiar barrier fences police as a security measure during demonstrations and major events. Presented in the first version of 2001 as an L-shaped wall, these ‘Grids’ form an enclosed (interior) space whose cold emptiness might suggest a prison. The three narrow panes of broken glass now surrounding them perhaps render more concrete the latent sense of violence the work had already evoked, as the visitor cannot but think of demonstrators throwing stones. – Excerpt from a text by Sabeth Buchmann
Monica Bonvicini is an Italian artist. She lives and works in Berlin since 1986. In 2003, Bonvicini was appointed as the Professor of Sculpture and Performance at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. Starting in 2017, she is the new Professor of Sculpture at the Universität der Künste Berlin. In her work Bonvicini investigates the relationship between power structures, gender and space. Bonvicini works intermediately with installation, sculpture, video, photography and drawing mediums. She has installed permanent artworks at the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park in London, the harbour at the Oslo Opera House and the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. Bonvicini was appointed Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2012.

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Monica Bonvicini’ by Massimiliano Gioni.