Bianca Bondi | SWEETTEETH
3 February - 4 March 2018
Bianca Bondi is a South African born artist who has lived and practiced in Paris, France for more than a decade. 2018 marks the opening of two solo exhibitions for Bondi, SWEETTEETH at Hazard Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa in February, is a follow up to her January exhibition in Paris at Galerie 22.48m2.
Bondi’s SWEETTEETH is a painting exhibition, her paintings are the result of a long-standing practice working primarily with salt, latex, copper and organic matter, which she has combined with the two- dimensional surface of canvas stretchers. The work on exhibition was produced during her January residency at The Nirox Foundation in the Cradle of Humankind.
Bondi’s artworks are often sculptural installations that deal with existential themes, relying on the ephemeral and the temporary nature of her materials for experiencing flux. Bondi’s works are experiments in the reactions between these elements when combined, relying on the natural world to respond to her careful alchemy. These artworks and their materials respond to their environment, morphing and changing according to light, temperature, and humidity.
Bondi has a distinct love for esoteric forms of practice, utilizing unconventional materials to achieve the extraordinary. Her holistic works rely on her own experiments and experiences which are entwined through her research and production. Carl Jung’s philosophies, and surrealist thought, have been major influences on her own thought processes, informing work that is an amalgam of scientific experiment and magic. Bondi approaches her theory from a contemporary perspective, operating in an altermodern space. This amalgam of theory and practice results in works of art that are simultaneously warm, and easily interpreted by the individual, but they have conceptual depth allowing any viewer to spend time with the art, and experience a great number of different emotions and responses to what they see.
The materials used are sensual, inciting the deep desire for tactile interaction, with the knowledge - and the fear - that by touching the work, the viewer would be changing it, and in some way, become a part of it. Bondi is a voracious reader, it isn’t difficult to pick up the literary and philosophical threads in her work. Her work is an exploration of the feminine.
Her internalization of poetry and words is evident in her work, and her literal use of words in her paintings - obscured by her process - hint at internal musings and verbal obsessions. SWEETTEETH is an example of this play on words integral to Bondi’s practice, a title meant to be said aloud, to be heard and to course over the tongue, it assumes the same texturality in the mouth as her paintings do on the eyes. Written the word suggests a scream, but spoken the experience is coaxing
There is a strong narrative that runs through any exhibition, or art object - bordering on artefact - in Bianca Bondi’s work. It is evident that each work has a story, which makes her work easy to connect with, magnetic and deeply human.
Text by Nicola Kritzinger