PRINT November 2007

Yilmaz Dziewior

“MANY PEOPLE JUST PLAY THE CHANGES; I like to change the play.” This statement—wry, gnomic, a touch haughty, and evincing a nonchalant economy of terms—seems like a good starting point for any discussion of the art of Cosima von Bonin. True enough, the words are not actually hers; they belong to Mayo Thompson, front man for the band Red Krayola. Yet the aphorism nevertheless aptly describes von Bonin’s modus operandi, which is to make work that examines and intervenes in the rules of the game—the game being art as a cultural and social practice. Moreover, to enlist Thompson here—he’s a friend of the artist’s—is a gesture very much in keeping with von Bonin’s approach. For her, a key aspect of changing the play is “interlacing,” as she once dubbed the mutual influence that takes place over time between her and the musicians, theorists, and fellow artists with whom she habitually works. The

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