The Dirty Secret / Performance by Patricia Jacomella Bonola

The Dirty Secret

Performance by and with Patricia Jacomella Bonola

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March 2023 at 5.30 p.m.

Patricia Jacomella Bonola (1952) presents the performance THE DIRTY SECRET (2023) to the public and, as she always does, the artist employs the language of art, in this case performance art, to tackle the issues of contemporary society.

The work analyses the form of violence caused by the superfluous purchase of fast fashion, which is nearly always low-cost, highlighting the resulting degeneration – not only of the environment – and examining the factors that influence consumer behaviour: a sort of thermometer of the society of consumption – and of paradoxes. Jacomella Bonola achieves this by analysing a generic and common product like a pair of jeans, starting from its production and use, progressing to its arrival in the point of sale and culminating in its ultimate disposal, in the framework of the inexorable relationship of consumption-to-landfill.

The performance has been constructed in a way that leaves no space for triviality. In addition to written and oral contextualisation, the artist operates in three dimensions, blending performance with theatrical monologue. She herself has collected used jeans from old clothing collection points and (re)stitched them to create the costume she will be wearing during her performance, together with a mask as an accessory.

Concepts like consumption, consumerism throwaways, the business of recycling, masks, social aesthetics and socio-political tension are the dynamics employed by Jacomella Bonola to raise public awareness, starting from jeans, as an iconic piece of clothing that has survived through many eras to reach the point where it has achieved the status of a high-fashion off-the-peg article.

Performing while wearing this costume, Patricia Jacomella Bonola will play multiple culturally and socially different female roles. An exception is made for the figure of the eternal beggar, which – unlike all the other roles played by the artist – will not wear a mask.

Patricia Jacomella Bonola / Mario Casanova. Translation by Pete Kercher.
Bellinzona, 26 February 2023.

Ph Patricia Jacomella Bonola, Zug, 2023.



Museo e Centro d’Arte Contemporanea Ticino

Via Tamaro 3, Bellinzona.

Opening hours

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

2 p.m. – 6 p.m.


CHF 6.00

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