Melanie Bonajo’s (1978, Heerlen, The Netherlands) practice examines subjects of spirituality, gender, sexuality and our shifting relationship with nature. Through her videos, performances, photographs and installations, she explores how technological advances and commodity-based pleasures increase feelings of alienation, removing an individual’s sense of belonging. Captivated by concepts of the divine, Bonajo investigates the spiritual emptiness of her generation, attempting to understand fundamentally existential questions by reflecting on ideas around classification, gender, domesticity, and our collective attitudes towards value.
Bonajo’s work has been exhibited and performed in international art institutions including Tate Modern, London; Frankfurter Kunstverein; EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam; STUK Arts Centre, Leuven; De Bond, Brugge; Rogaland Kunstsenter, Stavanger; De Appel, Amsterdam; Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Moscow Biennale; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; Fondazione Prada, Milan; PPOW Gallery and PS1/MoMA, New York. Bonajo has contributed to several art magazines, was creative editor of Capricious Magazine, and has curated various shows. She has published several books, including Matrix Botanica, numero 1 – Non-Human Persons; Spheres; Furniture Bondage; and I Have A Room With Everything, and, in 2013, released an album with her band ZaZaZoZo (in collaboration with Joseph Marzolla). Melanie Bonajo is represented by Galerie Akinci, Amsterdam.
Text: Chris Clarke