Sideboard Thonet B 108, bronze, black leather men’s belts
90 x 134 x 39 cm (sideboard); 40 x 40 x 40 cm (belts ball)
[Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio. Courtesy Monica Bonvicini and GALLERIA CONTINUA, by SIAE 2021]
Monica Bonvicini explores the man/woman, institution/individual, architecture/perception, museum/work/guest relationships, but also themes like domesticity, isolation, and caring.
Home Is Where You Leave Your Belt consists of a Thonet B 108 console table, created in 1930/31 by Michael Thonet, a leading Austro-Hungarian cabinetmaker, thus alluding to a specific male-oriented world – that of the Bauhaus. On the console table, which is made of lightweight bent tubular steel, the artist placed a large, heavy skein of black men’s belts in bronze, exactly the same as the belt that is wrapped around the lower part of one of the piece of furniture’s steel legs. What is evoked here is a multitude of men who, having entered the domestic space, removed their trousers, suggesting a state of male predominance and the possible abuse and violence by men against women.
Monica Bonvicini lives and works in Berlin. Since 2003 she has been a professor of Performative Arts and Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and since 2017 Sculpture at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. She has earned several awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale (1999); the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst (2005) and the Oskar Kokoschka Prize (2020). Her work has been featured in many biennials, including Berlin (1998, 2004, 2014), La Triennale Paris (2012), Istanbul (2003, 2017), Gwangju (2006), New Orleans (2008), and Venice (1999, 2001, 2005, 2011, 2015). She has had solo exhibitions at important institutions including Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2002); Art Institute of Chicago (2009); Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2011); Belvedere 21, Vienna (2019). In 2012 Bonvicini was appointed Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.