Monica Bonvicini’s new show is slightly cozy—which might seem a surprising takeaway given that the artist is known for making a two-story-tall whip and other fetish-inflected sculptures constructed from leather belts, icy white lightbulbs, and galvanized steel.
Melodrama is still a component in her major solo exhibition, “I Do You,” at Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie. The fact that there is any hint of coziness is probably because the prized museum in Berlin, built by Mies van der Rohe in the late 1960s, is far from a white-walled cube. It has none of those clinical vibes endemic in art spaces that make one feel slightly uneasy when stepping into them. But while this show has, on the whole, a less punishing mood that we are used to from the artist, there is still power-play, kinky choices to make, and bondage: you can handcuff yourself to the building for 30 minutes, if you want to.