Catinca Tabacaru NYC/Harare Collective

Rachel Monosov

Olympia by Rachel Monosov (2018) from Rachel Monosov on Vimeo.

Olympia, Performance, Duration: 50 minutes, 2018

In Olympia Monosov takes Leni Riefenstahl’s film Olympia (1936) as a point of departure and investigates the bodily moments before the action and after the seconds between motionlessness and getting into shape. The artist scrapes out this sculptural moment of transition and works with the image of perfect bodies, standing united on the starting blocks and finishing line.

We know what took place outside the walls of the stadium in 1936, but do we know or care what is taking nowadays place outside the walls of this room? Through the re-enactment and reproduction of the body movements and film aesthetics of Olympia in slow motion, the artist glares painstakingly at the human traces and moments of doubt in this nationalistic historical insignia, a questioning of the celebration of Olympic perfection.

Performers: Victor Dumont, Susie Yugier, Rachell Bo Clark, Stephanie Amurao, Katrina Bastian, Kinga Jaczewska Music: INRA (Philipp Rhensius & Adam Ben-Nun) Live Visuals: Lisa Lapierre

MELODICA Teaser (2017) from Rachel on Vimeo.

MELODICA,2017 (teaser)

MELODICA, 2017. 2K, 27:29
In Melodica, we perceive a closed world where beauty, architecture and geometry are given equal status to murder, love and philosophical thought. Like the concepts of Oscar Wilde’s portrait story of Dorian Gray, where beauty and sensual fulfilment are the only worthy pursuits of the protagonist, the film’s aesthetics are composed and imbued by painting. The references and events of Melodica are sourced from the painting The Golden Age by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Monosov leads us into ambiguous and absurd situations, in which we learn to accept and live in this constructed world. The images are beautiful and surreal, forcing the viewer to trust them and allow events to unfold; we gradually accept the strange things that are happening. While the work exposes earthly desires, it simultaneously offers a place where reality cannot enter so feelings of emptiness and melancholy rise slowly to the surface.

Where the action is frozen and the meaning ambiguous, Monosov raises existential questions within a rich setting of colours with characters under complete control of the artist. She opens a place for the self to feel, rather than be afraid of, beauty. Precisely because of the contemporary chaos we live in, the artist creates a beautifully detached world through aesthetics, which contains all the pain and anxiety surrounding us.

FREEDOM IN THE CLOUDS TRAILER from Rachel Monosov on Vimeo.

FREEDOM IN THE CLOUDS, 2015, HDV, 10:19min
We live in a time and place where even microscopic examination will not reveal the difference between a real seed and its imitation. The video work is shot in the vacation resort Tropical Islands, which closely imitates a natural Thai island and confines it underneath the giant dome of the former Brand-Briesen Airfield in Krausnick, Germany. A second filming location is an anonymous botanical garden in Jerusalem, Israel.

Through imagining procedures in the daily routines of a cleaning lady and a botanist, Monosov theatrically depicts their environment and their acts, both of which alter between the real and the surreal. This constructed universe characterizes the powerlessness of a nature controlled and used by humans. In the abstract sense of some pastoral place, the two women are following a mechanism whose rules aren’t clear.

In a white void, on a cloud away from any social structure, we hear Pastoral, Beethoven’s 6th Symphony. Is it within the sleep, or perhaps the death of the character and the artist that this idealism might serve as a perfect getaway?

While nature may seem to exist in its own right, unquestionable and omnipresent, the planting of a tree can come from political interest; a calculated action by men with an agenda. We live in a world where we cultivate the most useful plants while turning entire rainforests into lumber; in a place where forests are planted to possess land. There is an urgent need to examine the seed, the core, the soil we walk on, and the water we drink.

RACHEL MONOSOV (b. 1987, Russia)

Rachel Monosov works in performance, photography, video, and sculpture. By delving into cultural notions of alienation, territorial belonging, and identity, she reflects a rootless present rife with broader social implications. She constructs entire worlds around her subjects, which function pursuant to their own set of laws. Her personal biography is weaved throughout, loading the work with social and political concepts echoing historical events.

Monosov holds two MFAs from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent, Belgium, and her BA is from Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, Israel.

In 2017 and 2018 Monosov’s work was included in exhibitions at the BOZAR (she was a selected artist of the Europalia award) and the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Belgium; the National Museum of Art in Bucharest, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare, and in three Biennales: 11th Bamako Biennale, 13th Biennale of Dakar, and at the 57th Venice Biennial in the Zimbabwe Pavilion. In 2019, she mounts her first museum solo exhibition at Tarble Arts Center in Illinois, and is included in exhibitions at Kunsthaus Hamburg and Palazzo delle Espozitioni, Rome. Her upcoming performance project is funded by the Goethe Institut (Vietnam). Her work has been acquired into the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, Block Museum at Northwestern University, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, and Fondation Blachere (France).

Monosov is a co-founder of the CTG Collective, and currently lives and works in Berlin.

Artist Website




MFA in Film, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK), Ghent, Belgium


MFA The Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK), Ghent, Belgium


BFA Photography, Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem, Israel


The School of Visual Arts, New York



State of the arts, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Germany; Curators: Johanna Adam and Miriam Barhoum (upcoming)


Sublimi Anatomie, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy; curated by: Andrea Carlino, Philippe Comar, Anna Luppi, Vincenzo Napolano, Laura Perrone
Permanent Collections Gallery, Art Institute of Chicago; Curators: Antawan Byrd & Matthew Witkovsky
We are Almost There, Tarble Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University, USA; Curator: Catinca Tabacaru with co-curators Rehema Barber & Michael Schuetz (solo)
The Challenge of Realism, Performance in collaboration with Lisa Lapierre and Victor Dumont, Goethe Institut, Hanoi, Vietnam
hybrID, Kunsthaus Hamburg; Curator: Anna Nowak
CTG-R: Finland, Aleksanterin Linna Gallery, Serlachius Museums, Mänttä, Finland; Curator: Catinca Tabacaru


Unknowing Knowns Knowing Unknowns: (UNFINISHED), National Museum of Art, Bucharest, Romania
Meeting of the Minds, The National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare
New Feelings: Transformative Play and Discourse on Photography from a Diasporic Perspective, CCAC, Portland, USA; Curator: Modou Dieng


Europalia, BOZAR, Brussels, Belgium; Curators: Laura Herman and Charlotte Dumoncel d’Argence
Melodica, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium


Zig Zag Zig, The National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare; Curators: Catinca Tabacaru & Raphael Chikukwa



The Rebel, Dak’Art, 13th Biennial of Contemporary African Art, Dakar, Senegal; Curator: Simon Njami


Afrotopia, Bamako Encounters 11th Edition, Biennale of African Photography, Mali; Curator: Marie-Ann Yamsi
Transcultural Protocol, performance in collaboration with Admire Kamudzengerere, Zimbabwe Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale; Curator: Raphael Chikukwa



The Blind Leader, Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York
Transcultural Transience (with Isaac Chong Wai), ACUD Galerie, Berlin; Curator: Karma Ltd. Extended
1972 (with Admire Kamudzengerere), Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York


Pastoral, AC Repair Co., Toronto, Canada


Effects of Displacement, Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York
Pastoral, Barbé Gallery, Ghent, Belgium


The Premier of the Audition Acts as Symbol, REH-TRANSFORMER, Berlin, Germany; Curator: Marcus Kettel



Enter Through The Void, Campo victoria, Ghent, Belgium, included The Challenge of Realism, performance in collaboration with Lisa Lapierre and Victor Dumont
The Performance Show, Fondation AVL Mundo, Rotterdam; curated by Zippora Elders, included The Blind Leader presented by Catinca Tabacaru


Hypermaremma Chapter II, ‘La Città Sommersa’ Antica Città de Cosa, Ansedonia, Italy; Organizer: Giorgio Galotti
All gifted, אלמסן / المخزن / Almacén, Jaffa, Israel; Curator: Netta Laufer
Casted, Plek, Ghent, Belgium; Curator: Meer Collective
Tenants, Giorgio Galotti, Torino, Italy
41st Jalovik Art Colony, Kuća Kralja Petra, Serbia; Curators: Branislav Nikolic & Catinca Tabacaru


CTG-R: Zimbabwe 2018, CTG Harare, Zimbabwe
Fear of Change: true scenes and flat screenes, Site131, Dallas, Texas, USA


Transcultural Protocol, ThalieLab Art Foundation, Brussels, Belgium
An Orbit, The Drake, Toronto, Canada
Terra Nova, Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York
Ležerna Razmjena Bez Panike, Charlama Contemporary Art Gallery, Sarajevo


Fragmented Time, Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York; Curator: Rachel Monosov
Zig Zag Zim, Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York
A perfect storm for business, The Governor’s Mansion, Ghent, Belgium; Curators: Liene Aerts, Wim Lambrecht & Wim Waelput


Devotion, Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York; Curators: Catinca Tabacaru & William Corwin
Premio Carlo Bonatto Minella, Turin, Italy (selected artist)
La Vie mode d’emploi, Zwarte Zaal, Ghent, Belgium
Worlds of Nature, Ramfoundation, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


The Last Brucennial, New York; presented by Vito Schnabel and The Bruce High Quality Foundation
Kiss, Zona 30, Lima, Peru; Curator: Katie Peyton


Ever Ours, Beethoven Festival: LOVE, Merit School of Music, Chicago; Curator: Catinca Tabacaru
Special Project, Bit Map, Ghent, Belgium
100 Years in the Underground, Steichen to Sherman, Peanut Underground Art Projects, New York
Conventional Codes Of, Lambert Fine Arts, New York; Curator: Catinca Tabacaru
We Man, Bijloke, Ghent, Belgium


Hard Pop, ST-ART, Tel Aviv, Israel; Curators: Liora Belford & Serge Tiroche
Women’s Voices Now, Bradford Stewart Studios, Los Angeles; Curator: Catinca Tabacaru


Third Eye/I, White Box, New York; Curators: Raul Zamudio & Catinca Tabacaru
Women on Women, Zik Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel



Vox Populi (billboard), Harare, Zimbabwe


CTG Harare (architectural structure), Harare, Zimbabwe


Impossible Meeting Point (sculpture), Pool’s Island, Canada


Pink Village (community intervention), Harare, Zimbabwe



Melodica, cimmfest No.9, Chicago
Pink Village, dokumentArt, Neubrandenburg, Germany
Melodica, Bideodromo Festival, Bilbao, Spain (Second Prize for Experimental Film)


Pink Village, Joyce Yahouda Gallery, Montréal, Canada; Curator: Nicolas Mavrikakis
Freedom in the clouds, cimmfest No.8, Chicago


The Visitor, 44th Edition of International Film Festival Rotterdam_, The Netherlands
The Visitor, Het Grote Ongeduld Xtra!, Cinemathek, Brussels, Belgium


Careless You, Women’s Voices From The Muslim World International Film Festival, Global Tour to 22 venues throughout Jordan, Lebanon, UAE and USA; Curator: Catinca Tabacaru; Organizer: Suzie Abdou


Careless You, Women’s Voices From The Muslim World International Film Festival, Los Angeles; Curator: Catinca Tabacaru



Kunstlerhaus Lukas Scholarship, Germany (upcoming)


Villa Massimo Fellow
live.make.share – Undecided Productions, Hanoi, Vietnam (Project in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Vietnam)
Serlachius Museums, Finland (in collaboration with CTG Collective) (artist & organizer)


CTG-R: Zimbabwe, CTG Collective with DAI, Harare, Zimbabwe (artist & organizer)
Jalovik Art Colony, Serbia (in collaboration with CTG Collective)
CRIPTA747, Torino, Italy


CTG-R: Zimbabwe, CTG Collective with DAI, Harare, Zimbabwe
Triangle Arts Association, Brooklyn, USA


Thalie Art Foundation, Human Uplift Trust, India
Villa Lena Foundation, Tuscany, Italy
CTG-R: Newfoundland, CTG Collective with Matthew Evans, Pool’s Island, Canada
Dusangneuf Osangsett, Brussels, Belgium
Museum Dhondat-Dhaenens, House Van Wassenhove


CTG-R: Zimbabwe, CTG Collective with DAI, Harare, Zimbabwe



German Academy in Rome (Praxisstipendium)
MACK First Book Award (shortlist)


Europalia Curator’s Award (Selected Artist), Belgium; Curators: Laura Herman & Charlotte Dumoncel d’Argence
Northern Trust Purchase Prize, EXPO Chicago presentation with Catinca Tabacaru Gallery
Second Prize for Experimental Film, Bideodromo Festival, Bilbao, Spain


The Art Institute of Chicago, USA
Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, USA
National Gallery of Zimbabwe
Foundation Blachère, France
ST-ART and Africa First, Serge Tiroche Collections, Israel



Utopías y Heterotopías, Universidad del Pais Vasco, Bilbao, Spain
Utopías y Heterotopías, Arte Ederren Fakultatea/ Faculted de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, Spain


The Political in the Poetical (3-day workshop), Bideodromo Festival, Bilbao, Spain


Filmmakers Panel, dokumentArt, Neubrandenburg, Germany
Photography & Film (3-week workshop with Lisa Lapierre), Trichirapalli, India; organized by Thalie Art Foundation


Klingelfuss, Jessica. “Art Brussels Has Daring Designs on the Contemporary Art Market.” Wallpaper*, Wallpaper*, 26 Apr. 2019

Rea, Naomi. “Inexhaustible Collector Frédéric De Goldschmidt Takes Us on a Tour of Brussels’s Ultra-Cool Emerging Art Scene.” Artnet News, 1 May 2019

Ronchi, Giulia. “Art Brussels 2019. I Migliori 10 Stand: Artribune – Pagina 2.” Artribune, 25 Apr. 2019

Warner, Marigold. “MACK First Book Award Shortlist.” British Journal of Photography, 8 Mar. 2019

Wilson, Jacob Charles. “Ten Photographers to Have on Your Radar in 2019.” AnOther, AnOther Magazine, 10 May 2019

Canestrelli, Greta, Spazi Angusti, Intervista all’artista russo-israeliana Rachel Monosov, Yanez Magazine, September 24, 2018

Twersky, Carolyn, Two Artists Rewriting the History of Interracial Marriage in Africa, New York Magazine, March 26, 2018

Cowie, Alix-Rose, Rachel Monosov and Admire Kamudzengerere, You can’t believe everything you see, WEPRESENT-WETRANSFER, March 18, 2018

Pauline Doutreluingne and Petra Poelzl, Transcultural Transience by Karma Ltd. Extended, Art Berlin, April 5, 2018

Joyce, Beatrix, Exhibition // Karma Ltd. Extended’s ‘Transcultural Transience’ at ACUD Galerie, BERLINARTLINK, March 31, 2018

Furtado, Will, Where Drawing and Performance Meet, Contemporary&, December 8, 2017

Dafoe, Taylor, The Best Booths of Expo Chicago 2017, OBSERVER, September 14, 2017

Hawbaker, KT, 10 must-see galleries at Expo Chicago, Chicago Tribune, September 13, 2017

Cohen, Alina, Amplifications of Memory, The Nation, May 26, 2017

Land for Sale by Admire Kamudzengerere & Rachel Monosov, Ten Days In Paris, October 11, 2016

Le Zimbabwé Voit La Vie En Rose, MIXTE Paris, November 8, 2017

Land for Sale by Admire Kamudzengerere & Rachel Monosov, TEN DAYS IN PARIS, October 11, 2016

Rachel Monosov “Pastoral” at AC Repair Co., Toronto, Mousse Magazine, August 8, 2016

Seven Belgian-based artists to keep on your radar (Part 3), The Word, April 13, 2016