Melanie Bonajo and Pauline Curnier Jardin

Melanie Bonajo, Pauline Curnier Jardin

  • Opening 10.6.2021, 18:00h
  • Until 25.7.2021
  • Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
  • Via Modane 16 – 10141, Torino

In Turin the cycle hosts an exhibition of artists Melanie Bonajo (Holland, 1978) and Pauline Curnier Jardin (France, 1980) who present two large installations, titled respectively "Fake Paradise" and "Blutbad Parade". Through multiform artistic paths that combine performative, cinematographic and installation language, the two artists investigate moments of collective bodily expression and collaborative experimentation, to re-calibrate hegemonic and normative discourses on identity, gender and sexuality. In particular, intertwining together their interests for radical traditions and ancestral rituals, the potential of media and technology, and tactics of world-building, their practices explore different expanded forms of narratives, often resulting in complex installations with a strong visual impact.

Melanie Bonajo’s Fake Paradise is part of her experimental semi-documentary films series Night Soil, dedicated to cultural phenomena that contradict the linear progression of the capitalism and its values system. The piece considers the spiritual, medicinal and social dimensions of ayahuasca, an Amazonian plant with psychedelic properties. Navigating personal stories of experiences and perspectives induced by ayahuasca, the video installation pays close attention to the female voice, which has traditionally has been neglected in psychedelic research and popular culture. In 1916 in the city of Karlsruhe, the French air force bombed a circus in the middle of a performance, killing hundreds of civilians, including many women and children. Starting from this historical fact, Pauline Curnier Jardin’s installation Blutbad Parade, narrates the story of a phantom circus that returns every hundred years to play again on the site of original violence. The work woven together her interest for the carnivalesque and avant-guarde, tracing an inquiry into the categories of the deviant, the monstrous and the aberrancy of the war.