Night Soil Live
In her work, Melanie Bonajo uses photography, film, installations and music to explore cultural and sociological phenomena, among other contemporary themes.

Her trilogy Night Soil, a series of experimental semi-documentary films that call into question the linear progressions of the capitalist system, is currently on view at Foam. On the occasion of this exhibition Melanie Bonajo presents The Anti-Capitalist Medicine Circles in Foam.

Melanie Bonajo: “Why do modern citizens want to detach themselves from sources of shared strength around them? We see ourselves as isolated, alone and vulnerable, rather than united in a collective spirit. Capitalism has succeeded in commodifying our communication system and eliminated basic notions of our humanity: a need for physical proximity, cognitive understanding, emotional attachment, and honouring the relational aspect of our being. The Anti-Capitalist Medicine Circles is a group medicine expanding on the place self-care takes within capitalism. We will turn the museum space in to a temple of caring, expanding on the notion of intimacy as an act of disobedience. The visitor is called on to express her opinion, speak for herself, get involved. We aren’t in the process, we are the process.”

Three guests are invited to elaborate on particular aspects of Melanie’s practice:

  • Christian Greer, philosophy teacher at the University of Amsterdam. He’s currently working on his dissertation, Angelheaded Hipsters: From the Birth of Beatnik Antinomianism to Psychedelic Millenarianism.
  • Margriet van Heesch, PhD., Cultural Analysis scholar and teacher at the University of Amsterdam. She wrote her dissertation on intersexuality: They Didn't Know Whether I Was a Boy or a Girl: Knowledge, Choice and Intersex Conditions.
  • Izabella Finch, comedian and performer. She is interested in the role of food in our lives, and will touch upon our sense of taste as a form of knowledge.

Melanie Bonajo herself will speak about the role of animals in her work. She will also talk about how her films are a critique on hyper-individualization, and a revolt against the wearing away of trust and other human facets that are often excluded from our digital landscape.

Please note that there will not be enough time to view all three films (± 110 min.) during Night Soil Live. Foam therefore recommends visiting the exhibition prior to the event.

Since 2012 Dutch artist Melanie Bonajo, who lives and works between Amsterdam and New York, has been working on the Night Soil trilogy. The series explores trends outside sociological and political norms of consumer society, most of them illegal. Next Level: Melanie Bonajo – Night Soil is the first major solo museum exhibition bringing together all three video works.

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Next Level: Melanie Bonajo - Night Soil is made possible thanks to Ammodo, the Mondriaan Fund and the Dommering Foundation. We would like to thank Stichting Foam Friends and Foam Fund for their generous support of this exhibition.

The exhibition design is realised by Clemence Seilles and Theo Demans. Melanie Bonajo is represented by AKINCI, Amterdam. 

Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, City of Amsterdam, Delta Lloyd, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.

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Night Soil Live