Cosima von Bonin

Relax, It's Only A Ghost

June 2 - July 14, 2006

537 W 22nd Street

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Curated by Andrea Teschke
Opening reception: Friday, June 2, 6-8 pm

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce RELAX, IT'S ONLY A GHOST, a solo exhibition of new work by Cologne-based artist Cosima von Bonin. This is her fourth show in New York.

After a one year sabbatical, Cosima von Bonin returns; the thing is, she is only a ghost. Please relax. She is just waving at us from the other bank, from a pirate island in the Caribbean. She is waving at us poor landlubbers, who are stranded forever. She is now in the wonderful realm beyond capitulation, beyond the fear of failing. Only the cute Rorschach tests hint at the sounding out of the soul. Long since all turned into emblems, and reaching five fathoms deep under the surface of the sea, they are leading their own lives - marine creatures within the octopus's garden.

Here there exists no triumph. Here everything is just spooked. The dimensions of paintings, arrangements, installations - the excessive impetus by which all of this is set in motion, the fuel which drives the engine, the unrestrained power that urges the things along - it is never ever an expression of the "great gesture", of the will, of the intention.

All this always emerges at the threshold of just doing nothing, at the threshold of deception. For Cosima von Bonin knows exactly that it is only what we acquire by devious means that will make us happy forever. So the mise-en-scène of Cosima von Bonin's exhibitions resembles the ghostly conspiracies of the materials she uses.

It could maybe happen one day that all the things she has made use of over the years have it up to here with being under her yoke and – in an underhand fashion that is part of their nature – will revolt against Cosima von Bonin.

Whatever - she who anyway is no more than a ghost can know no fear of a possible revenge.

Dirk von Lowtzow

Nach einem Jahr Sabbat kehrt Cosima von Bonin nun zurück, allein, sie ist nur ein Geist. Entspannen Sie sich, bitte. Sie winkt nur vom anderen Ufer herüber, von der Pirateninsel in der Karibik zu uns armen, für immer gestrandeten Landratten. Sie befindet sich nun in dem wunderbaren Reich jenseits der Kapitulation, jenseits der Angst vor dem Scheitern. Nur die niedlichen Rorschach Tests weisen noch auf das Ausloten der Seele hin. Längst sind sie alle zu Emblemen geworden, die fünf Faden tief unter der Wasseroberfläche, wie Meeresgetier im Garten eines Kraken, ihr Eigenleben führen.
Hier wird eben nicht triumphiert. Hier wird nur gespukt.
Die Dimensionen von Bildern, Arrangements, Installationen, der exzessive Impuls durch den all dies in Bewegung gesetzt wird, der Treibstoff mit dem die Maschine läuft, die unbändige Wucht mit der die Dinge ins Rollen gebracht werden, sie ist niemals Ausdruck der „großen Geste", des Willens, der Intention.
All dies entsteht stets an der Schwelle zum Nichtstun, zum Betrug.
Denn Cosima von Bonin weiß es ganz genau: Nur was wir uns erschleichen, lässt uns für immer glücklich sein.
So gleicht das mise en scène von Cosima von Bonins Ausstellungen geisterhaften Verschwörungen der von ihr verwandten Materialien.
Vielleicht könnte es eines Tages passieren, dass all die von ihr über Jahre angeeigneten Dinge plötzlich die Nase voll haben von ihrem Joch und sich, hinterhältig, wie sie eben sind, gegen Cosima von Bonin aufbäumen.
Allerdings, wer ohnehin nur ein Geist ist, kennt keine Furcht vor der möglichen Rache.

Dirk von Lowtzow

Von Bonin's work has been recently exhibited at the Koelnischer Kunstverein, the Kunstverein Hamburg, the ICA in Philadelphia and the Vienna Secession. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles will dedicate a solo show to her in July 2007.

The exhibition will open on Friday, June 2, with an opening reception from 6 to 8 pm, and will be on view through July 14, 2006. Friedrich Petzel Gallery is located at 537 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011. For further information, please contact the gallery at info@petzel.com, or call (212) 680-9467.


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  • 1 / 23
    Mr. Burger
    2006
    Mixed media
    86.5 x 79 x 66 inches
  • 2 / 23
    Yellow/Red/Blue
    2006
    Mixed media
    90.25 x 80.5 x 78 inches
  • 3 / 23
    Relax, It's Only A Ghost
    Installation view
    Friedrich Petzel Gallery
    2006
  • 4 / 23
    Relax, It's Only A Ghost
    Installation view
    Friedrich Petzel Gallery
    2006
  • 5 / 23
    Relax, It's Only A Ghost
    Installation view
    Friedrich Petzel Gallery
    2006
  • 6 / 23
    Relax, It's Only A Ghost
    Installation view
    Friedrich Petzel Gallery
    2006
  • 7 / 23
    The Beyond
    2006
    Wood, lacquer
    169.29 x 78.74 x 55 inches
  • 8 / 23
    Night of the Dead
    2006
    Wood, steel, lacquer
    136 5/8 x 67 x 49 1/4 inches
  • 9 / 23
    Dawn of the Dead
    2006
    Wood, steel, lacquer
    135 x 106 5/8 x 106 inches
  • 10 / 23
    Day of the Dead
    2006
    Wood, steel, lacquer
    127 1/2 x 74 x 75 inches
  • 11 / 23
    Untitled (The Donkey with Hat & Box)
    2006
    Various materials
    62.99 x 32.2 x 55.75 inches
  • 12 / 23
    Untitled (The Purple Saint Bernard With Box)
    2006
    Various materials
    70.87 x 36.06 x 61.65 inches
  • 13 / 23
    Untitled (The Purple Bulldog With Box)
    2006
    Various materials
    50 x 36.06 x 47.87 inches
  • 14 / 23
    Seasons in the Abyss
    2006
    Various materials
  • 15 / 23
    Deprionen, A Voyage to the Sea
    2006
    Cotton, linen
    125.59 x 140.55 inches
  • 16 / 23
    Rorschachtest #1
    2006
    Cotton, linen
    113.39 x 90.55 inches
  • 17 / 23
    Rorschachtest #2
    2006
    Cotton, linen
    90.55 x 112.6 inches
  • 18 / 23
    Rorschachtest #3
    2006
    Cotton, linen
    113.78 x 91.73 inches
  • 19 / 23
    Rorschachtest #4
    2006
    Cotton, linen
    89.76 x 111.02 inches
  • 20 / 23
    In the Grip of the Lobster
    2006
    Cotton, linen
    114.17 x 155.91 inches
  • 21 / 23
    Quiet Lads- No Shouts, No Calls
    2006
    Cotton
    111.02 x 80.31 inches
  • 22 / 23
    Threshold
    2006
    Mixed media
    78.74 x 47.24 x 39.37 inches
  • 23 / 23
    Relax, It's Only A Ghost
    Installation view
    Friedrich Petzel Gallery
    2006
Related Materials

Cosima von Bonin

Roger and Out

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This publication accompanies the exhibition Cosima von Bonin: Roger and Out, organized by Ann Goldstein and presented at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, September 16, 2007 - January 7, 2008

Foreword by Jeremy Stick
"All Birds Evacuate Horizontally" by Ann Goldstein
"Cosima's Ladder" by Manfred Hermes
"The Skipper's Loneliness: On Market reflections, Social Contexts, Stuffed Animals, and Fashion Labels in the Work of Cosima von Bonin" by Isabelle Graw
"Heeling" by Bennett Simpson

Published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln.

© 2008 The Museum of Contemporary Art, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln.

ISBN: 978-1-933751-04-7

Cosima von Bonin

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This catalogue has been published on the occasion of the exhibition 2 Positions at Once of Cosima Von Bonin at the Kölnischer Kunstverein, October 30, 2004 - January 16, 2005

"The Result Could Always be Something Real" by Manfred Hermes

Published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln

© 2004 Cosima Von Bonin and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König

ISBN: 3-88375-885-x