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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Exhibition ISLAND INNOVATOR by Ana Alenso – Kunstverein Arnsberg | 24.03.-19.05.2024

Editors’ Choice

The exhibition ISLAND INNOVATOR by Ana Alenso (VEN) is dedicated to the artistic question of how bodies configure themselves in the field of tension between technology and its materialities. The boundaries and dualisms between human and technology, subject and object, material and immaterial seem to have been broken down. Are the machines with which we humans drill for oil kilometers deep in the earth’s crust an embodiment of human desire and longing for capital and for more and more?

Image caption: Ana Alenso, ISLAND INNOVATOR, Kunstverein Arnsberg

Ana Alenso’s artistic work is preceded by intensive research. Thematically and formally, she deals with the global dependence on resources and the associated political, social and economic exploitation.

Ana Alenso, ISLAND INNOVATOR, Kunstverein Arnsberg

Her solo exhibition ISLAND INNOVATOR is an overall assemblage of sculpture, installation, photography and video. The installations and sculptures consist of scaffolding elements, hoses, pipes and barrels – often found objects from scrap yards. Alenso assembles found technological traces of extractivism into poetic, industrial and yet gloomy dystopian sculptures. They form equilibria and cycles in which concepts such as fluidity, infinity, verticality but also error take on a material form and position.

Ana Alenso, ISLAND INNOVATOR, Kunstverein Arnsberg

After an artist residency in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, in the winter of 2023, Alenso is creating new works for this exhibition that deal with the overwhelming yet seductive feeling of being confronted with the offshore platforms in the harbor there: their size, the constant stream of people working there, the roar of the machines and the smell of oil emanating from them penetrate the body even when you don’t want it to. On the island of Las Palmas lies the “Island Innovator” platform, which has been parked for just a few days for maintenance before continuing its journey to Sierra Leone in Africa, where it is currently drilling the seabed for oil 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the past, navigation was based on the position of the stars. Today, information is used from highly specialized satellites that orbit hundreds or even thousands of kilometers above the earth and are located beyond the stratosphere. These satellites are responsible for monitoring the intensive and extensive extraction of oil from the seabed. This creates a link between two completely contrasting and extreme places on our planet. In a new video installation, Alenso speculates on the application of satellite technology to this deep-sea oil production, while also exploring the sculptural potential of oil rigs in other new installations, reinterpreting them as structures or body machines that embody the risks associated with offshore oil production.

Ana Alenso, ISLAND INNOVATOR, Kunstverein Arnsberg

Ana Alenso has participated in artistic residencies at the Goethe Institute Chile, Villa Sträuli in Switzerland and Urbane Künste Ruhr in Dortmund. Recent exhibitions include: Geneva Biennale: Sculpture Garden in Switzerland, Street Fight at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland; Oil, Beauty and Horror in The Petrol Age at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg; The Garden Bridge at Brücke Museum, El Museo de la Democracia at NGBK and Terrestrial Assemblage at Floating University in Berlin. She holds an MFA in Art in Context from Berlin University of the Arts (2015), an MFA in Media Art & Design from Bauhaus University Weimar (2012) and a BA from Armando Reverón Arts University in Venezuela (2004).


Exhibition dates: Sunday, 24. March 2024 – Sunday, 19. May 2024
Opening: Mo – Fr 5:30 – 7 pm
Su 11 am – 15 pm and by appointment


Kunstverein Arnsberg
Königstr. 24
59821 Arnsberg.


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