Cosima von Bonin Who's Exploiting Who in the Deep Sea?
26 March – 28 May 2017

Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens

Who's Exploiting Who in the Deep Sea? brings together a selection of works by influential Kenyan-born, Germany-based artist Cosima von Bonin. This exhibition, the artist's first in Canada, examines von Bonin's ongoing fascination with the ocean, a theme that is commonly evoked in her works but rarely made explicit.

The opposing forces of the sea—both a mysterious underworld and a site of sun-seeking vacationers—operate as a metaphor throughout much of von Bonin's practice, manifested here through a collection of works from the past ten years. Ranging from sculptures of creatures like crabs and sharks to a larger-than-life bikini, von Bonin's cast of characters present a host of contradictions. They are at once approachable and not quite what they seem.

This motley crew echoes von Bonin's own band of collaborators. Frequently working with friends and colleagues, von Bonin has long eschewed the authorial role of the artist, prioritizing delegation as readily as creation. Drawing on the expertise of musicians, performers and fellow artists, von Bonin's work mixes art history, popular culture and the absurd to offer up wry critiques of contemporary life and its many mysteries. Appropriately, the deep sea—where von Bonin's creatures venture—is its own universe, remote and little known to us.

Diviniti, Mary Messhausen, produzentin and Simone Junker will perform throughout the opening on March 26th.

Cosima von Bonin: Who's Exploiting Who in the Deep Sea? is co-curated by SculptureCenter Curator Ruba Katrib and Glasgow International Director Sarah McCrory. The exhibition is organized by Glasgow International and SculptureCenter, New York.

This exhibition is part of Germany @ Canada 2017, Partners from Immigration to Innovation.


Cosima von Bonin is a guest of the Goethe-Institut.

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