* 1981, Mexico City
Since the late nineties, Iñaki Bonillas has established a deep relationship with photography in his work: with a regard for the aesthetics and the conceptual practices of the sixties and seventies, he has been gradually isolating the constituent elements of photography and connecting them with other procedures. Printmaking as a means of transforming archival material is a central focus in Iñaki Bonillas’s practice. By reframing and editing found imagery, and subsequently creating a sense of permanence through the repetition and multiplication inherent to printmaking, he is able to firmly transform his interpretations into a new reality. He gives physical form to the deep-rooted —and often subconscious— process of self-editing we perform throughout our lives. Iñaki Bonillas links elements that are a priori incompatible: a personal, biographical narrative that consists of private anecdotes and emotions on one hand, and the quasi-scientific practices of compiling, classifying, and archiving on the other. In 2003, he introduced the photographic archive belonging to his grandfather, José Rodríguez Plaza, into his work; since that time, its content has undergone a wide range of operations: his grandfather’s black and white photographs are transformed into new narratives, leading us to question our relationship to memory and reality, and the troubling incompatibility that arises between these two defining components of our personal identities. Bonillas's print projects focus on photography as part of our daily lives, consciousness and memory —the vast archive that defines us as individuals. By questioning the editing of the world that all of us constantly perform, his photographic works evoke the impossible relationship between reality and memory, and the power of the image itself.
Among Iñaki Bonillas’s most recent solo exhibitions are: Secretos, as part of Estancia Femsa, Casa Luis Barragán, Mexico City (2016); The Infinite Relation in Difference, Association DUM – Project Space, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2016); Words and Photos, Dia Art Foundation: Artists’ Web Projects, New York (2014); The Story of the Sinking Ship Which Is a Ship and Yet It’s Not, LIGA, Espacio para Arquitectura, DF, Mexico City (2013); Arxiu J.R. Plaza, La Virreina Centre de la Imatge, Barcelona, Spain (2012); Circular Thinking: An Anthology, MAM – Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City (2009).
His work has been shown in group exhibitions such as: Cómo hacer arte con palabras. Estrategias lingüísticas conceptuales y postconceptuales en la Colección MUSAC, MUSAC – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain (2017); Point/Counterpoint: Contemporary Mexican Photography, MOPA – Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, United States (2017); Bibliotecas insólitas, La Casa Encendida, Madrid (2017); Crisis of Presence, Pori Art Museum, Finland (2016); Arte latinoamericano: ecos multiculturales. Colección FEMSA, MUSAS – Museo de Arte de Sonora, Mexico (2016); Écrit sur du vent: Iñaki Bonillas et Bertrand Lamarche, la compagnie, lieu de création, Marseille, France (2015); (Ready) Media, LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijon, Spain (2015); Another Part of the New World, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia (2015); Punctum, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria (2014); Poule!, Fundación Jumex, Mexico City (2012); Resisting the Present, Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2011) and Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2012); Little Theater of Gestures, Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland and Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2009); Little History of Photography, M HKA – Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, Belgium (2003), among others.
The artist has also been part of biennials such as: 30a Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2012); 50th Venice Biennial (2003), and SONSBEEK 9, the international sculpture exhibition in Arnhem, The Netherlands (2001).
Iñaki Bonillas lives and works in Mexico City.