Parables of Friendship

The Kinetic Vision of David Medalla

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Project description

David Medalla, born in Manila in 1942, is widely regarded as a pioneer of kinetic art. He first attracted international acclaim with “Cloud Canyons” in the 1960s, a series of sculptures which continuously emit soap foam. The subtle dialogue between monumentality and ephemerality, uncontrolled change and intention, are not only evident in Medalla’s kinetic works. During his artistic career spanning more than 70 years in which he created sculptures, paintings and drawings, he has developed numerous participatory works which transport the process-oriented and uncontrolled nature of his “kinetic vision” into the artistic context of social interaction and participation. With his series “A Stitch in Time”, he invites the viewer to stitch their personal marks and messages into broad swaths of fabric.

Because his widely diverse oeuvre eludes classification in any distinct artistic movement or concrete form, art institutions have rarely thoroughly engaged with Medalla’s work. In close collaboration with the artist and his long-time partner Adam Nankervis, the Bonn Kunstverein and the Museion Bozen are now producing the first comprehensive exhibition of his works in Europe. The exhibition shall examine Medalla’s interactive and participatory works, while also exploring his intensive interest in questions of cultural identity and sexuality. The two-part exhibition will feature two new productions by the artist, one of which is a performance that recreates his archived scripts, costumes and choreographies.

Artistic directors: Fatima Hellberg, Bart van der Heide
Curators: Steven Cairns, Fatima Hellberg
Curational assistence: Polina Sluzkaja
Artist: David Medalla
Speakers/presenters: Elmar Kaiser, Adam Nankervis

International Venues

Exhibition, Museion Bozen, Bolzano: 9 Apr. – 28 Aug. 2022


  • 4 September, 2021 to 30 January, 2022: Exhibition: Parables of Friendship

    Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn


Bonner Kunstverein

Hochstadenring 22
53119 Bonn (external link, opens in a new window)