Monica Bonvicini: her hand around the room

Power-plays in architecture – and a fug of S&M – animate the artist's Baltic retrospective

By Laura Smith

Light Me Black, 2009 (installation view). Photo: John McKenzie. Courtesy Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 18 November – 26 February 2017The first obstacle you encounter when visiting Monica Bonvicini’s exhibition is a huge halfpipe of fluorescent light tubes hanging from chains across the entrance to the gallery like the hull of an incandescent boat. Blinding, this mass of light – Light Me Black (2009) – is at once seductive and physically overwhelming, and draws you, bedazzled, into the artist’s first major survey exhibition at a British institution. Bonvicini’s sculptures…

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