BASEL.- Monica Bonvicini (b.1965 in Venice, lives in Berlin) and Tom Burr (b. 1963 in New Haven, Connecticut, lives in New York) are internationally regarded as among the most important representatives of contemporary art today. They share an interest in the functional purposes of social spaces and their psychological, social and gender-specific conventions. This mutual interest manifests itself in very different types of photographs, drawings, sculptures and installations. But common to both oeuvres is the question of the dynamics of power manifested by architecture, behaviour and action. Enthusiasm for the almost libidinous quality of surfaces and materials is a further bond between Monica Bonvicini and Tom Burrs artistic output. This exhibition is the first dedicated to an encounter between these artists; bringing their respective oeuvres face to face, it seeks to draw attention to their sometimes similar, sometimes contrasting aesthetic strategies.
At the center of the exhibition, then, stands the use of public and private spaces as an idea derived from the human body. In the exhibition space, these works meet in their shared reference to Minimal art; they part ways in their respective formal realizations and in their diverging references to a politics of the body, of gender, and of history.
It becomes clear, moreover, that sites and objects cannot simply be conceived as neutral values but must be recognized as social constructions that figure relationships of power.
The project was conceived in cooperation with the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich, and was shown there differently from Mai 30iest to August 16th, 2009. Considering the singularity of both Monica Bonvicini´s and Tom Burr´s oeuvre, two catalogues were published by DuMont publishing to accompany the exhibitions, one dedicated to each artist.