Eschaton—Anselm Kiefer Foundation

Monica Bonvicini

“If perceived as sensitive bodies, architecture and artwork feed off each other; fully activating themselves only with the visitor’s presence.”

In 2022, Monica Bonvicini installed a new scultpure at La Ribaute. Her site-specific artwork The Waiting investigates fear and expectations, curiosity and hesitance, engendered questions on society, eros and violence.

Monica Bonvicini often uses construction materials for her artistic installations. She considers this artwork a conceptual continuation of two of her historical pieces: Stairway to Hell, 2003, and SCALE OF THINGS (to come), 2010, both of which address false market promises and faulty urban planning scenarios. The viewer is challenged to consider not only the scale of physical architecture (always estimated to be the highest, the largest, the most luxurious) but also of social changes, effectuated by liberal urban design, as the often ignored consequence.

The Waiting (2022) by Monica Bonvicini :

The steel sculpture is installed in the middle of the space. Its aesthetic recalls disciplinary micro-architectures which are ubiquitous in airports, transitory stations, cash desks and more: places where masses of people are usually organized, often forced into waiting lines. In The Waiting, the bars are bent, and a pair of handcuffs hang from an attached chain, creating a minimal yet haunting scenography of conflict, escape and disobedience.

The Waiting is positioned and fixed directly to the floor, around an opening which leads to an underground space, a tunnel, an escape path: an entrance, or an exit? The friction between the feeling of protection and the narrativity of a possible crime reverberates in the coolness of the space. What are the possible speculations? What happened? What will happen? Who did what? And when?

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Monica Bonvicini

Original text: Monica Bonvicini, 2022
Photo Credit: Jelka von Langen