Cosima von Bonin

GEORGE (2016)

Upon the editorial board’s request, Cosima von Bonin, for this Texte zur Kunst edition, has kindly revived one of her classic motifs: the Mushroom. In recent years, von Bonin’s oversized figures – characters such as the Sloth Rabbits and a host of different Crustaceans – have appeared like ideal museum occupiers, presented as they often are languishing on furniture. All along, the Mushroom has been germinating in them, taking slothfulness a notch further. At first glance, von Bonin’s well-known stuffed animals look like children’s toys. Closer inspection reveals them to be unsuitable for underage audiences. Sometimes friendly and sometimes not so friendly at all, these memes of creative production and the networks that sustain them may also be read as symbols of a “shadow economy” (of art). This specimen, sized to be cuddled, is a case in point. Circulated as an artist’s edition, it weaves another strand into the nexus of art, friendship, and economic relations.

Dressed in the colors of the “Laccaria amethystine” (aka amethyst deceiver) and covered in a plushy, arguably equally unpalatable material, the self-standing, approximately 16-inch tall piece is titled “GEORGE”. Those who purchase the edition are free to bend the work into shape as desired (a real DIY edition). The piece gestures toward Texte zur Kunst’s longstanding close relationship with von Bonin and her work: in its mushroom-form, the organism’s true size stays hidden from the collector, hinting at the artist’s and journal’s shared roots in 1990s Cologne.

Mohair velour, cotton wadding, fleece, leather, sand; height: 40 cm, diameter: ca. 29 cm, edition: 48 + 8 A.P., numbered on the bottom, numbered and signed certificate, € 4500.– plus shipping. Delivery time: 6-8 weeks.