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04d1 Study for the Importance of Being S

Study for The Importance of Being Simone de Beauvoir, 2013. Video projection 16:9, 1888x1062 resolution, 23:09 minutes. Film Still: Courtesy of the Artist.

Part of M̶i̶g̶u̶e̶l̶ Bonneville’s larger series entitled The Importance of Being, this iteration is dedicated to scholar and writer Simone de Beauvoir. Ever since reading her 1943 novel She Came to Stay, Bonneville has drawn much personal sustenance from her writings. For this video performance, Bonneville enacts a series of minimalist vignettes, such as rising to balance gently on his toes while holding a book open or lingering before a mirror to regard his gender-ambiguous reflection. The recurrence of carnelian red 

unifies the series, appearing as his nail polish in one scene and as his tights in another. Bonneville shifts through signifiers of gender, and in so doing reveals it as a construct—a perfect homage to the feminist philosopher Beauvoir.

M̶i̶g̶u̶e̶l̶ Bonneville (Portugal, 1985) introduces us to autobiographical works focused on the deconstruction and reconstruction of identity. He presents his work in a variety of formats, such as performances, drawings, photographs, films, music or artist's books.


His work is presented in art galleries, theatres and international festivals, namely the projects 'Family Project’, ‘M̶i̶g̶u̶e̶l̶ Bonneville’, and ‘The Importance of Being’. He studied ‘Acting’ at Academia Contemporânea do Espectáculo (2000-2003) and ‘Visual Arts’ at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2006), ‘Autobiographies, Life Stories and Artist’s Lives’ at CIES-ISCTE (2008), ‘Archive – Organization and Maintenance’ at Citeforma (2013), ‘Sewing Ideas’ at Magestil (2013), and ‘Cyborgs, Sex and Society’ at FCSH (2016). Bonneville was part of the artistic nucleus of the contemporary dance production company Eira (2004-2006) and contemporary art gallery Galeria 3+1 Arte Contemporânea (2009-2013). In 2015 he won the Ex Aequo Award for the performances ‘Medo e Feminismos’ (in collaboration with Maria Gil), and ‘The Importance of Being Simone de Beauvoir’. Bonneville has participated in artistic residencies such as Sítio das Artes/Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon, 2007), Homesession, (Barcelona, 2008), Mugatxoan/Serralves Foundation (Porto, 2010), Transeuropa2012  (Hildesheim, 2012), Arts Printing House (Vilnius, 2013), Arte y Desarrollo (Madrid, 2014) and La Box (Bourges, 2018), among others.


He sporadically teaches authorial performance composition in different national and international structures. He lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.

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