Monica Bonvicini in conversation with Richard Pallardy
March 20, 2023
Give Monica Bonvicini a space and she will fill it with something magical… or disturbing, or provocative. The Italian sculptor, now a citizen of Germany, is a virtuoso when it comes to shaping her work to the environment in which it will be exhibited. Visitors to her latest exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin are greeted with a massive placard emblazoned with its title –”I do you.” Leaning casually against the facade of the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed structure, the sign mirrors Bonvicini’s own posture toward institutional art—respectful but also casual and unconcerned with decorum. As she tells Richard Pallardy for ODDA Magazine, she knows that some of her creations are aggressive and critical. But many are also strangely beautiful and magnetic. “She lies,” a mass of glass and metal, suggesting an iceberg, a fallen skyscraper, a sinking ship, as it twists and turns in the currents of the Oslo fjord. And some manage to be both. ”Light me Black”, an assemblage of 144 fluorescent lights, is both intimidating and inviting. Here, Bonvicini lays out her artistic philosophy—why she is fascinated by movement, what draws her to her materials and what she wants to say with each piece.