The third show of Monica Bonvicini at Raffaella Cortese gallery develops deeper her work into language, poetry and space – all to be articulated again with a feminist premise. The title for the exhibition “Pleasant” comes from a series of new works; comprised of mirrors painted with sentences and quotes by female writers, like Amelia Rosselli, Lydia Davis, Diana Williams and Natalia Diaz. These words, a recurring trait of Monica Bonvicini’s practice, do not want to convey a caring or comforting message, but instead the opposite.
The works and quotes are reflecting on domestic spaces while mirroring each other, juxtaposing the voices one on top of the other and rendering the space of the gallery like a series of puzzles.
Certain works were painted directly on the mirror surfaces, others were left unpainted to maintain the reflection within the words. These works, some stating only three words, are capable of describing a whole space and, simultaneously, to trigger a vision of the situation: What spaces are those, whose voices? Feelings of grandness, of solitude, of desire and humor are inscribed in these works that are anything but Pleasant.
The choice of the colors for the works comes from the portrait of Virginia Woolf taken by Gisele Freund in 1939. In the picture we can see the writer sitting on a chair, an open book on her lap, holding a cigarette in one hand. Her clothes were chosen carefully to match with the interior, as in the background one can notice a piece of fabric and a mural by Bell & Grant.
The subject of domesticity and the subsequent discomfort is explored as well in a group of new sculptures, presented alongside with the mirror works for the first time.