“Run free through the park until death do us part”

All-round artist Melanie Bonajo talks art and club culture.


Uninterested in conforming to stereotypical ideals of beauty, Melanie Bonajo has a confidently adventurous attitude towards art, creating valiant and somewhat mind-boggling imagery. Reaching out to the artist for the (Retro) Rave issue of Glamcult, Bonajo lifted the lid on her creative mind with answers that still have us spinning.

What does rave/club culture mean to you?

At its best a free zone of human creativity and normative exorcism; a place of gathering where we can overcome the oppressive ideologies we have invisibly internalized, a celebration of the individual to share themselves in full expression, inclusiveness towards otherness and the transformative aspect of sharing bodies and music in an intimate space.

At worst a hedonistic, un-orchestrated symphony without a deeper cultural direction or meaning. I would like to add that the endless solitary exploration of the inner cave at home is not to be underestimated.

If we were to video you on a night out, what would we see? What’s your recipe for the perfect party? 

I would be dressed up as a robot, hanging out with a bunch of centenarians on medication and we would all be in wheelchairs in an elderly home. You would watch us have the time of our lives whilst we try to escape from the elderly home and run free through the park until death do us part.

Tell us about the best and worst night out you’ve ever been on.

Going to my own solo show at Foam Amsterdam called Night Soil—which has just ended—showing three new films about women, plant spirits, other dimensions, community building and picking options for a safer nurturing future for all, but discovering nobody is dressed up like a mermaid.

What would (or does) your ultimate rave outfit look like?

A confused shark carrying a giant selfie stick tree.

When you think of a Retro Rave—what’s the soundtrack?  

Donald Trump #pussygroping on repeat.

If you could party with any possible person from the past, who would it be? Why?

Myself when nine years old.


Still from Night Soil/ Fake Paradise, 2015 © Melanie Bonajo / Courtesy AKINCI, Amsterdam


Follow Melanie on Instagram.



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