Artist: Cosima von Bonin
Venue: House of Gaga, Mexico City
Exhibition Title: Shit & Chanel
Date: May 7 – August 3, 2019
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of House of Gaga, Mexico City
Gaga is pleased to present Shit & Chanel, Cosima von Bonin’s first exhibition in Mexico. Cosima von Bonin (Mombasa, Kenya, 1962), whose name reminds us of a famous Renaissance banker, lives and works in Cologne, Germany. Her practice has unfolded in the orbit of artists such as Martin Kippenberger, Isa Genzken, Michael Krebber and Josef Strau, to name a few. Her work is
characterized by constant collaboration with musicians, DJs, performers, architects, technicians and installers to the point that the artist boasts of not knowing how to make or do anything … “everything is stolen”, she says.
The show produced by the gallery following the artist’s instructions sent from her bed via WhatsApp consists of four canvases made by her everlasting collaborator Julia Koep, three faux concrete mixers orchestrated by Marcela Derbez and a accessorized soft sculpture. The canvases, conceived from a GIF that Cosima shared with Fernando, show Daffy Duck fighting against darkness, almost always defeated but resisting in a sort of sisyphean-loop. The quarrelsome character of Daffy is close to the artist, reappearing every now and then (another loop) in her work.
A drove of trans-species stuffed pigs lie dead or just exhausted on a stainless steel plate in a motionless ballet of cake slices. Another group of pigs is incarcerated in a concrete mixer bound by oversized handcuffs and inflatable pikes as toys evoking an unknown sexual practice (to some) that transforms the gallery into an improbable sex dungeon.
Two other mixers, one of handcuffed blue lobster claws and another covered with orange crochet, complete the exhibition, evoking a perverse reminiscence of the artist’s family business within the concrete industry. Three stories in which the softness of the plush toys and the fabric of disguise are torn, revealing the perverse and cruel backdrop that lies at the bottom of children’s tales.
“For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror,” wrote Rilke − but desolation is real even if you try to disguise it under the harmless aspect of stuffed animals or pretend to exorcise it with humor. And it is in the face of this terror that Cosima’s networks of collaboration and dialogue with other artists and agents are put into action. Human interrelation reveals itself as the real resistance to this devastating panorama.
A performance by Mary Messhausen, Proddy Produzentin and Leche de Tortuga is planned for the opening day, which threatens to have its way with Cosima von Bonin’s work.