IMMA presents an immersive exhibition exploring intimacy by Dutch artist melanie bonajo in its stunning Baroque Chapel
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Sunday, July 14, 2024


IMMA presents an immersive exhibition exploring intimacy by Dutch artist melanie bonajo in its stunning Baroque Chapel
melanie bonajo, When the body says Yes, still Big Spoon, 2022, Courtesy the artist and AKINCI.



DUBLIN.- IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) presents When the body says Yes, an immersive installation by Dutch artist melanie bonajo opening on Friday 26 July 2024. melanie bonajo (they/them), is a queer non-binary Dutch artist, filmmaker, sexological bodyworker, and somatic sex coach and educator. The video installation, originally commissioned by the Mondriaan Fund for the Biennale Arte 2022, is part of the artist’s ongoing research into the current status of intimacy in our increasingly alienating, commodity-driven world. For bonajo, touch can be a powerful remedy for the modern epidemic of loneliness.

Through their videos, performances, photographs and installations, bonajo examines current conundrums of co-existence in crippling capitalistic systems, and address themes of eroding intimacy and isolation in an increasingly sterile, technological world.

They research how technological advances and commodity-based pleasures increase feelings of alienation, removing a sense of belonging in an individual, and their works present anti-capitalist methods to reconnect, explore sexualities, intimacies and feelings. Their experimental documentaries often explore communities living or working on the margins of society, either through illegal means or cultural exclusion, and the paradoxes inherent to ideas of comfort with a strong sense for community, equality, and body-politics.

bonajo represented with When the body says Yes The Netherlands at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022 and worked with a curatorial team consisting of Orlando Maaike Gouwenberg, Geir Haraldseth and Soraya Pol. The scenography for the installation, both at the Venice Biennale and in subsequent iterations, including at IMMA, has been developed in collaboration with Théo Demans.

melanie bonajo was nominated for the Nam June Paik Award (2018) and the Prix de Rome (2017) and won the IFFR Tiger Award (2016).

IMMA Talks presents a conversation with melanie bonajo and collaborator Pawel CHILL Dudus on Thursday 25 July at 5.30pm. Two artist led workshops with bonajo/Skinship Collective take place on Saturday 27 July exploring Consentship (10am) and Collective Body Spells (2pm). See full details and booking links below.

When the body says Yes was shown at FOMU, Antwerp, Belgium (2023) and KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia (2024) and Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. melanie bonajo is represented by AKINCI, Amsterdam.

melanie bonajo (they/them) is an artist, filmmaker, sexological bodyworker, somatic sex coach and educator, cuddle workshop facilitator and activist. Through their videos, performances, photographs, and installations, they examine current conundrums of co-existence in a crippling capitalist system, and address themes of eroding intimacy and isolation in an increasingly sterile, technological world. They research how technological advances and commodity-based pleasures increase feelings of alienation, removing an individual’s sense of belonging. Their works present anti-capitalist methods to reconnect and to explore sexualities, intimacies and feelings. bonajo’s experimental documentaries often feature communities living or working on the margins of society, either through illegal means or cultural exclusion, and the paradoxes inherent to ideas of comfort with a strong sense for community, equality and body-politics.

bonajo studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and completed residencies at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunst in Amsterdam (2009 2009-10) and at ISCP in New York (2014). Solo exhibitions have been: KUMU Tallinn, EE (2023), FOMU Antwerp, BE (2023); Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, NL (2018); Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, DE (2017); FOAM, Amsterdam, NL (2016). Solo shows include When the body says Yes: IMMA Dublin, IE (2024); Kunstpalais Erlangen, DE (2024).

Pawel CHILL Dudus (they/ them) is a Polish artist living in Vienna. He studied contemporary dance and has danced in performances by Georg Blaschke, Akemi Takeya, Alessandro Sciarroni and others.

Pawel CHILL Dudus was born in Poland, studied contemporary dance at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz. Since 2015 he has been dedicated to #ONLYLOVEISREAL - a friendship-based collaboration with Laura Eva Meuris, a long-term research project dedicated to the themes of love, intimacy and (self-)care. Pawel feels the need to respond to violence, hatred and fearmongering as well as to the prevalence of normative concepts.

They investigate how intimacy and shared vulnerability can help us to improve the way we interact with each other and to build alternative networks and relationships with each other. Pawel has given workshops at the Berlin festivals STRETCH and xplore, among others. Until recently, they performed in Alexander Gottfarb's 365-day performance Negotiations at the Tanzquartier Wien.

Skinship is a touched based place for kinship @skinship_berlin. Skinship is a Berlin-based collective teaching workshops on touch, intimacy, consent, pleasure and activism, centering queer/trans/nonbinary/femme people. Celebrating life and diversity in connection to the body is core to our values, and an act of resistance. melanie bonajo, Ayo Gry Jonassen, and Pawel CHILL Dudus founded Skinship in May 2020.










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