In her work, Melanie Bonajo examines the paradoxes inherent to ideas of comfort with a strong sense for community, equality, and body-politics. Through her videos, performances, photographs and installations, she 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, Bonajo 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.
Bonajo’s work has been exhibited and performed in international art institutions, such as Tate Modern, London; EYE Film Museum, Amsterdam; STUK, Louvain; de Bond, Bruges; Rogaland Kunstsenter, Stavanger, Norway; 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; Fondazione Prada, Milan; PPOW Gallery and PS1/MoMA, New York. In the USA, her work has been acquired by the 21C Museum Hotels, Kentucky. Her films have been screened at Kunsthalle Basel (2016), and numerous festivals such as International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), 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 Paradiso, Amsterdam. She published several books, the most recent being: ‘Matrix Botanica, numero 1 – Non-Human Persons’™ designed by Experimental Jetset and published by Capricious Publishing (New York). In 2013, she released an album with her band ZaZaZoZo (in collaboration with Joseph Marzolla) called Inua.