In order to illustrate the complex and often oppressive relationship that exists human beings and our material things, Dutch artist Melanie Bonajo contorts, binds, balances, and burdens her female models with the objects of everyday life: chairs, bookshelves, aerosol cans, food, empty containers, and cleaning supplies. Her living sculptures evoke a visceral response; as a viewer, you can't help but identify with the human body laden with a weighty suitcase or struggling to balance a tray full of objects and garbage that might be needed again someday. Furniture Bondage presents 22 full-page photographs of such pieces, followed by a list of participating models and an essay by the artist entitled "Floccinaucinihilipilification."
Melanie Bonajo. As Thrown Down from Heaven, is a photo series that focuses on a theme that Bonajo continually explores; the relationships that human beings have with the environment, both private and public, and the desire to create harmony within this. The images in this series combine seemingly opposing elements, nude figures with disposable objects, but when combined these figures become a fusion of the individual and the material, becoming a hybrid that expresses our modern age. This series comes from elementary questions: what do we need to add to ourselves until we become complete, happy, satisfied or safe? Bonajo believes that our identification with material obsession blocks the abilit y for a deeper sensibility; this includes not only objects but also immaterial elements such as facts, informat ion, data, and visual input. This fixat ion inevitably burdens the health of our spirit.
These photographs are Bonajo's exercises in confronting the impositions placed on material possession and the self. Through the photographs she is trying to sculpt a mental life, creating a space where silence can exist between us and objects. This space connects the logical wit h the intuit ive, and allows us to retain a balance of our perceptions. Bonajo states, "We live in the human era...We are the architects of the human universe ... We think that being able to reflect by reason sets us apart or above nature. But being a symptom of the earth, human beings are therefore bounded to the laws of Nature ... Our psychic landscape is a reflection of our inside and shapes our external surroundings. This evidence in matter is a consequence of our thought system and a symbolic expression of our time." P·P·O·W Gallery, NY