The Idler’s Playground
The Idler's Playground (2010), foto Jannes Linders
The Idler’s Playground consists of two parts. One part consists of a small boy wearing a hat and seated on a life-size tennis umpire’s chair. Both in appearance and in facial expression, he looks suspiciously like Pinocchio, the famous character in Carlo Collodi’s story. Pinocchio sits doing nothing: he leans forward in his chair, chin resting on his right hand, and gazes out in a bored – or rather disgruntled – manner. In the meantime, his nose has got so long that it bores right through the toadstool standing in the perch opposite. Under the toadstool, a bench has been installed; it seems to invite observers to do the same as Pinocchio. The question is, considering his long nose, will it do them any good? In the end, the image mainly seems to be an invitation to withdraw from your day-to-day life, as witnessed not only by Pinocchio’s insignificance and the bench, but also by the fact that both sculptures are sprayed completely in green, as if the entire work of art is trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. (text: Hans den Hartog Jager)
The ‘Idler’s Playground’ stands on the edge of Hofplein, one of the busiest road junctions in Rotterdam where Weena and Coolsingel meet. It is precisely because Hofplein is so busy that ‘The Idler’s Playground’ comes into its own: the sculpture seems to want to make passers-by and observers aware that it is quite easy to take a break from the maelstrom of daily life and surrender to a different rhythm.
Cosima von Bonin is one of the biggest enigmas in contemporary art. Her most important objective, it would appear, is to remain as indefinable as possible; as a result, it is difficult to establish the hard facts of her life; she deliberately blurs the lines between facts and fiction. There are hardly any photos of her, the few that are available show an indeterminate figure with large sunglasses, which could just as easily be a man as a woman.
In the biographical details that Von Bonin has released, it states that she was born in 1962 in Mombasa, Kenya. She currently lives and works in Cologne. Her art is just as indefinable as she is: she works with textiles and with film, and constructs installations that frequently refer to popular culture, pop art and fairy tales. It is a fact that Von Bonin has a lot of success with these; in recent years, she has exhibited her art in Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Mamco in Geneva, Witte de With in Rotterdam and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
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