Monica Bonvicini “I do You” at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Ana Teixeira Pinto, MOUSSE, March 7, 2023

In his 1974 book Television: Technology and Cultural Form, theorist Raymond Williams detailed the contradiction between centralized transmission and privatized reception that plagued the broadcasting model. Underlying this contraction, he argued, one could find another, gendered one, between male mobility and female domesticity, between the postwar “improvement” of the single-family home and the increased isolation of the homemaker. Monica Bonvicini’s Hausfrau Swinging (1997) is not a work about television, but it’s shown on a television monitor—an old, probably already discontinued model, unceremoniously placed on the gallery floor. In it, the viewer sees a naked female, her head stuck in a cardboard house, banging furiously against a white display wall. Each impact makes a raw sound that echoes around the Neue Nationalgalerie.


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