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Performance Art by Monica Bonvicini – Neue Nationalgalerie is the place to be


you haven't been into performance art so far, you should definitely visit Monica Bonvicini's exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie. Under the title "I do you" the visitor will find light and sound installations or her sculptures "You to Me" and "Chainswing Belts /Chainswing Leather Round" from 2022 (chain swings and handcuffs). Neue Nationalgalerie is the place to be, the exhibition shows club culture and provocation à la Berghain and the visitor becomes part of the art exhibition.

The entrance was disguised with a mirror wall, picture on the right: depending on the approach to the mirror wall, different projections and interactions with the surrounding are created ©Kischreport

Monica Bonvicini, who was born in Venice and now lives and works in Berlin, has been dealing with the subject of architecture for years. The light-flooded and open building by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was given a new room layout by the artist. Through mirrored surfaces and a platform, Monica Bonvicini redivided the interior and now shows her works. Her “Chain Swings” (2022) are integrated into the exhibition. The swings made of steel and chains can be actively experienced by the visitors, as well as the handcuffs of the installation “You to Me”. The visitor thus becomes part of the exhibition.

Viewed from the outside: unusual perspectives: Interior and exterior merge with each other through mirrored surfaces inside the museum, visible in the front: the handcuffs of the installation "You to Me" ©Kischreport
"2 Tons" (1998) in the foreground: 2 tons of rubble from the neoclassical facade of the Stüler Building of the Alte Nationalgalerie, removed during renovation work ©Kischreport
Chainswing Belts, 2022 Chainswing Leather Round 2022 (galvanized steel chains, chain quick fasteners, leather) - the materials create a visual connection to the club scene ©Kischreport

The floor of the pedestal is covered with a carpet (Breach of Décor, 2020-2022), which shows countless fragments of carpetdesigns with photographs of pants lying on the floor. The artist worked on the object for almost 2 years. She systematically photographed the clothes she had worn during the day. The complete work is now on display on the “Upper Floor” and is intended to stand for the pursuit of emancipation alongside trousers as a traditionally male garment. “…Where there are pants, this place suddenly seems conquered.”

Located in one corner of the building there is a series of light objects from 2022. The series consists of neon tubes arranged sculpturally and emitting blindingly bright light. Electric cables and individual leather belts tie the neon tubes together and are meant to reference Eileen Gray’s 1920 design classic “Tube Light.”

Series of light objects consisting of LED neon tubes : the minimalist form of these light works refers to the design classic "Tube Light" by Eileen Gray from the 1920s ©Kischreport

The visitor is accompanied by a sound installation, which can also be heard outside the museum via loudspeakers. Approximately 2000 titles of works created by the artist in the course of her career are read out. The titles of the works interact with language and art and question how art can be translated into language and how language itself can become art.

When?     25.11.22 – 30.04.23

Where?          Neue Nationalgalerie, Potsdamer Straße 50, 10785 Berlin

Opening Hours?   Monday closed, Tue-Sun 10:00am – 06:00pm, Thu 10:00 am – 08:00pm



Cover photo/contribution photo: View of the Neue Nationalgalerie©Kischreport