The light installation NOT FOR YOU (2006) by Monica Bonvicini (born in 1965) at the facade of the Riverside Palace in Pillnitz Park and Palace – homebase of the Design Campus – defies to be observed from a safe distance and cannot be ignored. Following traditions of a dispassionate minimalism and conceptual art, Moncia Bonvicini’s works confront its viewers with uncomfortable truths. Central to her work is to reveal hegemonic relationships, control mechanisms and forms of paternalism in architecture, design and behaviour. In a museum context, the work seems to be rejecting the democratic ideal of universal cultural participation, and it may also make us wonder who art belongs to — or this artwork in particular — and in what way? Furthermore, it expresses something that defines our social life, yet oftentimes remains only tacit: forms of exclusion as well as the power structures that underlie such exclusion in political decision-making, in social spaces and in design processes. It is here that parallels between Bonvicini’s work and the subjects on the agenda of the 2021 Design Campus emerge.
The installation is part of Blickwechsel, a series of interventions from the Schenkung Sammlung Hoffmann across museums of Dresden State Art Collections. Starting in the 1960s, the motivation of collectors Rolf Hoffmann and Erika Hoffmann-Koenige was to build intimate and vibrant relationships with art. Intense study of the works and often communication with the artists themselves accompanied new acquisitions. They couple was always looking for innovation, regardless of the medium, and regarded multiplicity of artistic expression a trademark of modern art. It was an explicit wish of the donor to present the works of the collection in dialogue with the various museums of the Dresden State Art Collections and, in so doing, to open up new perspectives on the historical and modern exhibits.