Melanie Bonajo examines the paradoxes inherent to ideas of comfort. Through her videos, performances, photographs and installations, Bonajo studies subjects related to how technological advances and commodity-based pleasures increase feelings of alienation, removing a sense of belonging in an individual. Captivated by concepts of the divine, she explores the spiritual emptiness of her generation, examines peoples’ shifting relationship with nature and tries to understand existential questions by reflecting on our domestic situation, ideas around classification, concepts of home, gender and attitudes towards value.
Melanie Bonajo, born 1978 in Heerlen (NL) has exhibited and performed in various (international) art institutions such as De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam; Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Moscow Biennale; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, and PPOW Gallery, New York. Her films have been screened at festivals such as the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and the Berlinale. In 2012 she initiated the collective Genital International, which tackles subjects around feminism, participation, equality, our Earth, ‘Politics beyond Polarity’ and ‘Revolution through Relaxation.' Bonajo has contributed to several art magazines, was creative editor of Capricious Magazine, and curated various shows, such as the QQC Performance Festival about pop music in visual arts at the Paradiso, Amsterdam. She published several books, including: Modern Life of the Soul, I Have a Room with Everything, Spheres and Furniture Bondage. In 2013 she released an album with her band Z▲Z▲Z◎Z◎ (in collaboration with Joseph Marzolla) called Inua. Bonajo studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and completed residencies at a.o. ISCP in New York (2014) and the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunst in Amsterdam (2009-10). She lives and works in Amsterdam and New York.