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Exhibition Details

Exercices de Style / Exercises in Style

  • February 14, 2015 - April 26, 2015

Summary of Exhibition

Mónica Bengoa’s works in felt, paper, embroidery may be best understood within the interdisciplinary contexts of contemporary artistic practices. The artist’s grounding in Post-Minimalist strategies including repetition, labor-intensive hand work, and subjective content reflect her passionate interest in the ordinary details of seemingly unimportant activities, events, places, things, and routines as subject matter. 

Exercices de Style / Exercises in Style are directly based on the French writer Raymond Queneau’s book of the same title. Bengoa has reproduced nineteen stories from Queneau’s ninety-nine stories, each of which is an unusually inventive literary variation of the first brief story titled “Notations / Notation.” Bengoa has followed Queneau’s titles for each story and retained the page numbers on each of her works. Her principal objective was to create a visual form in diverse mediums corresponding to his innovative literary exercises. 

In realizing this extraordinary visual-literary dialogue, Bengoa developed a series of processes, beginning with tearing out the pages, wrinkling them, photographing them, working on them digitally, hand tracing and then cutting each word to create a visual transformation of a literary gem. 

Nationally and internationally recognized, her work was shown at The Drawing Center, New York (2014); MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007); 52 Venice Biennial (2007); IV Biennale Internationale de la Photographie et des Arts Visuels de Liège, Musée d’Art moderne et d’Art contemporain, Liège, Belgium (2004). Among her many awards: The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, New York (2015); FONDART Grant, Ministry of Culture, Santiago. Bicentennial Grant. Project, “Felt as a new material for an optic exercise.” (2009)

The translations of the French stories in English will be accessible as an e-book in an iPad inside the gallery.

This exhibition is curated by Julia P. Herzberg, guest curator. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, Embassy of Chile provided the transportation of the art work. Additional support has been provided by the Facultad de Artes, The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and the Isabel Aninat Galeria de Arte in Santiago.

Curated by Julia P. Herzberg, Ph.D.

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