MELANIE BONAJO

Last Child in the Woods

Melanie Bonajo Last Child in the Woods

source:lensculturecom
About Melanie Bonajo
Melanie Bonajo exams the paradoxes inherent in our future-based ideas of comfort. Through her photographs, performances, videos and installations Bonajo examines subjects related to progress that remove from the individual a sense of belonging and looks at how technological advances and commodity-based pleasures increase feelings of alienation within the individual. Captivated by concepts of the divine, she explores the spiritual emptiness of her generation, examines peoples’ shifting relationship with nature and tries to understand existential questions by looking at our domestic situation, idea’s around classification, concepts of home, gender and attitudes towards value.

Melanie Bonajo lives and works in Amsterdam. Her work has been exhibited and performed in international art institutions, such as De Appel Arts Center / Amsterdam, Institute Neérlandais/Paris, Modern Art Museum / Ljubljana, Kohun National Museum of Contemporary Art/ Seoul, Stedelijk museum/ Amsterdam, PPOW Gallery/ New York, SMBA/Amsterdam, Programm, Berlin, Museum of Modern Art / Arnhem and Foam /Amsterdam. She made 7 publications I have a Room with Everything / 2009, Furniture Bondage / 2009, Modern Life of the Soul / 2008, Volkerschau and Bush Compulsion /2009, 1 question 9 possible answers 3 rooms /2012, Spheres / 2012. With her music project ZaZaZoZo she will release the album INUA with tsunami-addiction spring 2013. In 2008 she studied religious science; Mysticism and Western Esotericism at the UVA. She worked as creative editor for Capricious magazine and Mister Motley, taught workshops and lectured on l’Ecal, Rietveld Academie, Aperture, Parsons school of Art, Mediamatic a.o. In 2012 she initiated the collective GENITAL INTERNATIONAL which focusses on subjects around participation, equality, our environment and politics beyond polarity.
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source:akincinl
In her work, Melanie Bonajo examines the paradoxes inherent to ideas of comfort with a strong sense for community, equality, and body-politics. Through her videos, performances, photographs and installations, she studies subjects related to how technological advances and commoditybased pleasures increase feelings of alienation, removing a sense of belonging in an individual. Captivated by concepts of the divine, Bonajo explores the spiritual emptiness of her generation, examines peoples’ shifting relationship with nature and tries to understand existential questions by reflecting on our domestic situation, ideas around classification, concepts of home, gender and attitudes towards value.

Melanie Bonajo studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and completed residencies at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunst in Amsterdam (2009-10) and at ISCP in New York (2014).

Melanie Bonajo’s work has been shown in international exhibitions throughout Europe; recently in a.o. Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2019, Performance at Do Disturb Festival), Guangzhou Triennial (2018-2019, Progress vs Sunsets), CN, a solo exhibition (2019, Progress vs. Sunsets) in Kunsthalle Lingen, ‘Creatures Made to Measure. Animals and Contemporary Design’ in Design Museum, Ghent (2019), BE and Museum Marta Herford, DE (2018), ‘Vrijheid – vijftig Nederlandse kernkunstwerken sinds 1968’ – curated by Hans den Hartog Jager in Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle, NL (2019), ‘Blind Faith’, curated by Julienne Lorz in Haus der Kunst, München 2018), the Night Soil Trilogy was on view in Manifesta 12, Palermo (2018), Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, curated by Katerina Gregos (2018, Progress vs Regress), Kunstsaele Berlin, curated by Ellen Blumenstein (2018) and ‘Anima Mundi’ in Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, curated by Hans van der Ham (2018, film Matrix Botanica). Her film Night Soil – Economy of Love will be shown in the show ‘Be Fragile! Be Brave!’, curated by Rebeka Põlsdam, Pori Museum, FI (2019).

Melanie Bonajo was nominated for the Amsterdamprijs voor de Kunst 2018 and the prestigious Nam June Paik Award 2018. Her work has recently been acquired by Frac, Ile-de-France.

Melanie Bonajo had her first international solo exhibition in FOAM, The Netherlands, in 2016. The Frankfurter Kunstverein followed with a major solo exhibition in 2017: ‘Single Mother Songs from the End of Nature’ . In 2018, Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht presented her solo exhibition ‘The death of Melanie Bonajo: how to unmodernize yourself and become an elf in 12 steps’. Melanie Bonajo’s film ‘Progress vs. Regress’, commissioned by Hacking Habitat Utrecht, forms the first part of her recent trilogy. For the second part of this trilogy, ‘Progress vs. Sunsets’, Melanie Bonajo was shortlisted for the Prix de Rome 2017.

In 2016, Melanie Bonajo was shortlisted for the 57th Venice Biennale. Her film Night Soil—Economy of Love, awarded for the IFFR Tiger Awards (2016), was produced and screened by Schunck, Heerlen (2015), and shown at a.o. Museum Arnhem, AKINCI, Amsterdam (2015) and EYE Film Museum, Amsterdam (2016). Melanie Bonajo presented the Night Soil trilogy in her first solo exhibition in the Netherlands at FOAM, Amsterdam. The Night Soil Trilogy together with the installations has been acquired by Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht.

Bonajo’s work has been exhibited and performed in international art institutions, such as Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2019), Guangzhou Triennial (2018-2019), Kunsthalle Lingen (2019), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2018); Martha Herford Museum, Herford (2018); Tate Modern, London (performance, 2017); EYE Film Museum, Amsterdam (2016); STUK, Leuven; Rogaland Kunstsenter, Stavanger, Norway; De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam; Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; the Moscow Biennale; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; Fondazione Prada, Milan; PPOW Gallery and PS1/MoMA, New York. In the USA, her work has been acquired by the 21C Museum Hotels, Kentucky. Her films have been screened at Kunsthalle Basel (2016), and numerous festivals such as Lowlands (Summer 2018), Pinkpop, International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and the Berlinale. In 2012, Bonajo initiated the collective Genital International, which tackles subjects around feminism, participation, equality, our Earth: ‘Politics beyond Polarity’ and ‘Revolution through Relaxation’. Melanie Bonajo has contributed to several art magazines, was creative editor of Capricious Magazine, and curated various shows, such as the QQC Performance Festival about pop music in visual arts at the Paradiso, Amsterdam. She published several books, the most recent being: Matrix Botanica, numero 1 – Non-Human Persons, designed by Experimental Jetset and published by Capricious Publishing (New York). In 2013, she released an album with her band ZaZaZoZo (in collaboration with Joseph Marzolla) called Inua.
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source:museumtijdschriftnl
Van 6 juli t/m 22 september toont de tentoonstelling Paradise Lost foto’s van overweldigende schoonheid met een diepere laag die deze esthetiek versterkt of in twijfel trekt. Die controverse, het gegeven dat kunst alternatieve vragen oproept en aanzet tot reflectie, is wat de ING met haar collectie beoogt en wat Paradise Lost weerspiegelt. Met kunstwerken van kunstenaars als Erwin Olaf, Woody van Amen, Rosemary Laing, Ruud van Empel, Wout Berger en Melanie Bonajo.

De kunstwerken balanceren op de grens van werkelijkheid en verbeelding. Door het tonen of juist achterwege laten van de rafelranden van schoonheid, laat Paradise Lost ons nadenken over onze eigen kijk op en plaats in deze wereld.

Elk op hun eigen manier openbaren de foto’s ons de schoonheid en breekbaarheid van de wereld om ons heen. In Woody Amen’s Mata Hari wordt de kijker geconfronteerd met zijn of haar eigen beeldvorming en utopische ideeën van het paradijs. In de foto van Ruud van Empel, World #23 en Melanie Bonajo foto’s uit de serie Last child in the woods, speelt de onbevangenheid en het magische universum van kinderen een grote rol. De werken nemen de kijker mee op reis naar het groene en kleurrijke paradijs zoals het nog bestaat in de belevingswereld van het kind.

Naast paradijselijke beelden, bevat de tentoonstelling ook verschillende werken van onder andere Erwin Olaf, Bownik, Elspeth Diederix, Carina Hesper en Holger Niehaus die refereren aan klassieke stillevens.
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Deels gelijktijdig is in het Stedelijk Museum Zutphen (tot en met 1 september) de fotografietentoonstelling ‘Picture this! Schrijven met Licht’ te zien, met oude foto’s uit de eigen collectie. Beide tentoonstellingen worden gehouden in het kader van Fotozomer Zutphen. De laatste jaren manifesteert Zutphen zich als fotostad pur sang, met onder andere World Press Photo in de Walburgiskerk, de foto-zomertentoonstelling van De Zutphense en steeds meer deelnemende culturele instellingen en ondernemers in de stad.

Beide tentoonstellingen bieden een uitgebreid en gevarieerd randprogramma met tal van activiteiten voor jong en oud. Voor meer en actuele informatie: zie www.museazutphen.nl

Foto: Melanie Bonajo, (Jahzara) Last child in the woods, 201, Ultrachrome Print geprint op Canon Luster paper, 110 x 73 cm, ING Collectie