September 19, 2016 – January 2, 2017
Cosima von Bonin: Who’s Exploiting Who in the Deep Sea?
Sculpture Center, 44-19 Purves Street, Long Island City, NY 11101
Who’s Exploiting Who in the Deep Sea?, Cosima von Bonin’s first solo museum exhibition in New York City, examines the German artist’s fascination with the sea. Commonly evoked in her works, but rarely made explicit, the ocean is an organizing thematic for this show that focuses on a selection of her sculptures from 2000 onwards.
A mysterious underworld with its beaches populated by sun-seeking vacationers, these two opposing sides of the sea—as sun-filled and leisurely in contrast to the dark, deep, and unknown—operate as a metaphor in much of von Bonin’s work. Manifested through sculptures of creatures like lobsters and sharks, as well as large bikinis and lifeguard stands, the exhibition investigates this thread through von Bonin’s work.
Von Bonin’s cast of textile characters included in the exhibition present a host of contradictions—approachable creatures that aren’t quite what they seem or behaving as we might expect. Weaving together humor with melancholy, softness with hardness, access and exclusion, von Bonin’s sculptures mix with art history, popular culture, music, and craft, while engaging in feminist destabilizations. Appropriately, the deep sea—where von Bonin’s crew ventures—is its own world, little known and remote for us.
Mary Messhausen, Oliver Husain, produzentin, and Simone Junker will perform throughout the opening reception on Sunday, September 18, 2016.
Cosima von Bonin (born 1962 in Mombasa, Kenya; lives and works in Cologne, Germany) is one of the most influential German artists of her generation and while she has exhibited extensively in Europe, her U.S. exhibitions have been limited to a survey titled Roger & Out at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007), and a follow up survey at the Mildred Lane Kemper Museum in St Louis titled Character Appropriation (2011). Other significant exhibitions have included HIPPIES USE SIDE DOOR. at MUMOK, Vienna (2014); Cut! Cut! Cut! for Museum Ludwig’s Sloth Section, Loop #04 of the Lazy Susan Series, A Rotating Exhibition 2010?2012 at Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2011); documenta 12 in Kassel (2007); and her work was featured in Make Your Own Life: Artists In and Out of Cologne at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2006).
The exhibition is co-curated by SculptureCenter Curator Ruba Katrib and Glasgow International Director Sarah McCrory and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated publication with texts by McCrory and Katrib.
The exhibition will travel to the Oakville Galleries in Ontario, Canada in early 2017.