The work of Jonathan Monk (born 1969) is multi-purpose, and includes a wide diversity of techniques. This ranges from painting to photography, from film to sculpture, from installation to performance; which makes him one of the most elusive contemporary artists. He refuses to be pigeon-holed, and he has always been determined to slip in somewhere unexpected, and continually feed relevant reflection about the notion of understanding.
He relies on a sound knowledge of art history, and through his own work, he explores some avenues that other artists could have gone through in their own work.
For his project in the Wunderkammer entitled Name Used to Fill Space, Monk has created a work in neon lights consisting of 10 letters. These letters in neon placed at perfectly regular intervals form the word MELBOCHNER which, at first sight, does not seem to mean anything familiar. After deciphering it for a moment, it becomes apparent that it is a name: MEL BOCHNER, who is an American conceptual artist born in 1940.
He is very well-known for his Measurements (exact measurements of areas written down on the surfaces themselves), and for his more recent paintings which are lists of words, nouns or adjectives relating to one idea. The words each follow on from the previous one, but each is painted in a different color. As an artist taking account of measurements and language, Bochner can be considered as a reference on this subject.
In a response to the Self/Portrait that Bochner made of himself in 1966, listing a whole series of word, Monk reproduces here in letters what constitutes any official identity on paper, in other words, a name.
Not without humour, Monk shows his own attraction to conceptual art and the complexities of language by referring to a historic figure in one of the main tendencies of 20th century art.