Melanie Bonajo has an extensive and multifaceted practice as an artist, musician, writer and curator. Through this rich tapestry of media and expression, the artist explores and challenges the boarders of contemporary human relations to gender, transcendence, commodity and nature .
The main works in the exhibition are Fake Paradise (2014) and Economy of Love (2015), both parts of a trilogy of videos called Night Soil. Fake Paradise tells the story of several people’s experiences using ayahuasca, a hallucinogen from the Amazonas, which has a similar status as LSD did in the 60s. Economy of Love follows a community of activist sex workers in Brooklyn. In addition to the two films we present a selection of visual material from Bonajo’s production, which can be seen as a map to the artists interests and themes.
Bonajo counters the capitalist zeitgeist with body and soul, often looking at activities that are for different reasons looked upon as illegal or taboo. The works update our perception of modern humanity in relationship to technology in our daily lives, and how we perceive ourselves. Even though the themes and issues in the work are serious, there is a humorous playfulness to the works, and a sensuality that academic theories are void of. The rooms at the art centers are transformed into sensory zones where you can float around, get information in a new way and perhaps experience something new.