Milena Bonilla’s research-based practice is currently invested in epistemological colonialism and the different ways it affects organisms, language and social structures. By identifying patterns, gaps and silences within specific historical narratives, the artist draws tensions between predetermined political templates and uses of cognition. These conceptual and perceptual exercises appear weaved across the manifold material manifestations of her work.
Her projects fluctuate between drawings, sculpture and in situ practices. In her work, technique plays a secondary role, it is conditioned and determined by the ideas that get developed in her artistic processes. In this way, Bonilla expresses her interest in developing procedures, not in only the ones she generates, but also in the ones that she perceives in the cultural field through other people’s actions, in the rhythms present in the movement of cities, and in the dominant discourses that have shaped the cultural and economic history so far. Her practice is interested in the economy, the construction and the possibility of destruction, the culture and the territory. In her exploration of these ideas she finds potential sources of information where she confronts homogenous thoughts that have been determined by hegemonic voices through the times.
Selected solo exhibitions include The Hour Before Sunset, Galería Municipal do Porto, Portugal (2021); Eden Hotel, A Tale of a Tub, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2019); Low Intensity Operations, The Mistake Room, Los Angeles (2015); SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, Norway (2012), Untitled, solo presentation, 12th Istanbul BiennialIstanbul (2011), and A Report to an Academy, Chamber of Commerce, Bogotá (2011).
Bonilla has been part of many collective shows such as MECARÕ. L’Amazonie dans la collection Petitgas, MO.CO., Montpellier, France (2020); Sign – Signer, Mint konsthall, Stockholm (2020); Images Liées, Chatêau de Servières, Les Parallèles du Sud, Manifesta 13, Marseille, France (2020); Nowheres within Here, Framer Framed, Amsterdam (2019); Moving Stones, Kadist Paris, Paris (2018); Gaia in the Anthropocene, Garage Rotterdam, Netherlands (2018); The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, The Jewish Museum, New York (2017); Los Multinaturalistas, MAMM Museum of Modern Art, Medellín, Colombia (2017); Daros Latinoamérica, Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires (2015); Des hôtes: a foreigner, a human, an unexpected visitor, Spring Workshop, Hong Kong (2015); Naturaleza Nominal, CA2M, Madrid (2015); Whose Map is it?, Institute of International Visual Arts, London (2010); Morality Act VI: Remember Humanity, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2010); Mapping the present, Konstall C, Stockholm (2009); the Marrakech Biennale (2014); the 10th Havana Biennale, Cuba (2009); the 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012) and the 3rd Bucharest Biennale (2008).