Progress vs. Sunsets
A self-proclaimed digital eco-feminist, hyper elf, witch or devil, Melanie Bonajo challenges the traditional divisions between men and women, nature and technology. Through her videos, performances, photographs and installations, she studies subjects related to how technological advances and commodity based pleasures increase feelings of alienation, removing a sense of belonging in an individual.
Her work, Progress vs Sunsets (2017) examines progress in relation to extinction. Extinction or endangerment of vulnerable groups through technological development, but also extinction in a more abstract sense, extinction of feelings or thought forms. Progress vs Sunsets shows how popular the often “funny” amateur videos of “wild” animals online influence urban children’s view on nature. It asks: How do they read these images? What do they see and what do they think it implies about the state of the world and what do they think we can do about it? The children, with their innocent looks and raw opinions, offer an intriguing look into today’s society (not seldom their opinions are a deformed version of the opinions of their parents) but also into the future of our planet.
Melanie Bonajo will represent The Netherlands at the 59th Venice Biennale, 2021.