new-york

Cosima von Bonin

Andrea Rosen Gallery

As gestures of appropriation generally strike a rather flat note these days, one might well wonder what is at stake in Cosima von Bonin’s first U.S. exhibition—an odd assortment of nondescript objects, paintings, photographs, drawings, posters, and letters. None of these items was made by the artist; they were produced especially for this show, by friends within the Cologne art world, including Heimo Zobernig, Diedrich Diederichsen, Michael Krebber, and Martin Kippenberger.

A short film by the artist, entitled The Merry Pilgrimage, 1991, suggests that despite the exhibition’s deceptive veneer, it does more than rehash stale questions of authorship. An adaptation of the last 14 minutes of another film by the same name in the style of Bavarian peasant theater, von Bonin’s video is simple enough; in a kitschy, Capraesque way, the narrative unfolds as a village priest and pilgrims return home.

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