Published by Walther König, Köln. Foreword by Rein Wolfs. Text by Ursula Maria Probst, Vanessa Joan Müller.
Monica Bonvicini’s work conducts a continual dialogue between bodies and architecture. Frequently, Bonvicini eroticizes and/or psychologizes this relationship, through sculptures, installations and video works in which people are seen plunging their bodies into walls as if passing through them, or rubbing their genitals on the corners of a wall. The props of sadomasochism are often invoked, in a mattress made of black leather belts and screen installations of hanging chains. Bonvicini’s humor is laced with a confrontational edge that compels her to explore, for example, the architectural-erotic politics of construction workers, who are disenfranchised from the authorship of their physical labor, but who are also notorious purveyors of male aggression towards women. If Bonvicini has a credo, it is best expressed by her oft-cited spraypainted wall text, “Architecture is the ultimate erotic act/carry it to excess.” Both Ends provides a survey of works spanning the past decade.
Confronting the overlap between patriarchy and architecture head on, Monica Bonvicini (born 1965) has attracted international attention with her video “Wallfucking” (1995)—in which a naked woman rubs her genitals against a wall protuberance—and with her site-specific installations using chains, steel and leather. “Architecture is the ultimate erotic act,” asserts an installation in this monograph; “carry it to excess.”
Monica Bonvicini's energetic excavations of power and sexuality have earned her a powerful reputation worldwide. As the title of this volume confirms, her rhetoric is matched only by the work's powerful visual impact. This Hammer Means Business is an artist's book cum mini-retrospective that illustrates her works of the past ten years, and gives documentation for exhibitions and residencies.
Published by Walther König, Köln. Edited by Stefan Bidner.
In order to view the images in this concise artist's book, one must cut the Japanese-bound pages by hand. Within are reproductions of Monica Bonvicini's large-format black-and-white drawings dealing with issues of revolt and insurgency via text quotations from Anne Sexton, Anaïs Nin and Julia Kristeva.