Iñaki Bonillas’s first exhibition at kurimanzutto explores and interrogates what painter and filmmaker Robert Bresson called “the intelligence of the hands.” The artist is interested in studying the ability of hands to automatically and instinctively create objects. In this vein, Bonillas investigates how these abilities are slowly disappearing due to increasing technological evolution and the loss of manual skills.
The name of the exhibition comes from a title of a 1946 text by Hannah Arendt. In “No Longer and Not Yet,” Arendt explains the existence of a no man's land—an empty space—where things from the past don’t disappear but continue to exist in a placeless and timeless state. Bonillas’s practice employs manual techniques related to analog photography that are becoming more and more archaic and rare. Like the disappearing complexity of a type-face printing press or a film camera, a single button increasingly achieves what trained and skilled hands only recently took years to learn.
Ya no, todavía no (No longer and not yet) explores the artisanal production of a book—with the merging of various work processes—as the axis of reflection for the entire project. Bonillas worked with an extensive team of collaborators in Mexico City to produce the printed work for this show. Specializing in papermaking, heliogravure, movable typefaces, darkroom photo development, historic lighting, and book binding, the anachronistic skills of these artisans contributed to the resulting exposition.
Within the gallery space, the exhibition is organized by a series of dividing screens superimposed on each other, both veiling and unveiling parts of the exhibition. By hiding and revealing selected components Bonillas highlights the processes involved in creation of a book, and the numerous, invisible hands that participate in its production. Bonillas pays tribute to all the unseen hands that allow not only the creation of a book (The Book of Processes, 2018), but also the assembly of an elaborate art exhibition. It is essentially a type of farewell to a hand-operated language which, today, has very little to do with the carrying out of various processes for the creation of books, images, and prints
about the artist
Among Iñaki Bonillas’s most recent solo exhibitions are: Secretos, as part of Estancia Femsa, Casa Luis Barragán, Mexico City (2017), and Captain Oates, Art Basel 44/Art Unlimited, Switzerland (2017). His work has also been included in exhibitons and institutions such as Strange Currencies: Art & Action in Mexico City, 1990-2000, The Galleries at Moore, Philadelphia (2015); Punctum, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg (2014); La inminencia de las poéticas, 30th Bienial of São Paulo (2012); Arxiu J. R. Plaza, La Virreina Centre de la Imatge, Barcelona (2012); Poule!, Colección Jumex, Mexico City (2012); Resisting the Present, Museo Amparo, Puebla, the Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris / ARC (2011 y 2012); Little Theater of Gestures, Kunstmuseum Basel and Malmö Konsthall (2009); Intervención al pabellón, Pabellón Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona (2005); Little History of Photography, MUHKA, Antwerp (2003); Utopia Station, 50th Venice Biennial (2003) and Locus Focus, Sonsbeek 9, Arnhem (2001).
Iñaki Bonillas lives and works in Mexico City.