Mohair velour, cotton wadding, fleece, leather, sand
29 × 40 × 29 cm
Edition of 48 copies, signed and numbered on certificate
about this work
For this edition, Cosima von Bonin has revived one of her classic motifs: the Mushroom. In recent years, von Bonin’s oversized figures – characters such as the Sloth Rabbits and a host of different Crustaceans – have appeared like ideal museum occupiers, presented as they often are languishing on furniture. All along, the Mushroom has been germinating in them, taking slothfulness a notch further. At first glance, von Bonin’s well-known stuffed animals look like children’s toys. Closer inspection reveals them to be unsuitable for underage audiences. Sometimes friendly and sometimes not so friendly at all, these memes of creative production and the networks that sustain them may also be read as symbols of a “shadow economy” (of art). This specimen, sized to be cuddled, is a case in point. Circulated as an artist’s edition, it weaves another strand into the nexus of art, friendship, and economic relations.
Dressed in the colors of the “Laccaria amethystine” (aka amethyst deceiver) and covered in a plushy, arguably equally unpalatable material, the self-standing, approximately 16-inch tall piece is titled GEORGE. Those who purchase the edition are free to bend the work into shape as desired (a real DIY edition).
about Cosima von Bonin
Since she started working as an artist at the end of the 1980s, von Bonin has made many different kinds of work: she uses an enormous range of media, including sculpture, installation, fabric images, murals, photography, and film. She not only presents her work in solo exhibitions but also collaborates with other artists, organizes group projects, produces videos and performances, throws parties, and performs as a DJ. From the beginning, her work countered the celebration of individual mastery in the flourishing art market of the 1980s with a strategy of collective production that leaves room for all kinds of influences and ideas.
Von Bonin defamiliarizes everyday objects by manipulating their proportions, altering their materiality and texture, or questioning our sense of their reality. Artistic creation is understood as something intermeshed with all kinds of cultural and social reflections. Personal experiences also make up part of this web, in a way that is often impossible for viewers to follow.
Von Bonin’s exhibitions and room-filling installations deliberately can’t be understood in terms of the expressive single work. Attempts to explain every detail of her work are usually bound to fail and besides not something the artist wants. In spite of that, however, her repertoire of images, which always also has an ironic and playful note, is filled with allusions and cross-references to art and popular culture. These easily recognizable references make it straightforward to establish certain associations, but in the search for meaning, you are usually left to your own devices.
(courtesy of MUMOK, Vienna)