“Oh, obviously my leg sticking out from underneath the tray needs to stay.”
“Narrative is pattern and transformation.” I was standing in front of Alina Tenser’s video, Necklace, as she walked me and a handful of others around “No Entrance, No Exit,” her recent three-person exhibition at The Kitchen, in New York. This piece, installed in the entrance to the gallery, was my introduction to the New York-based artist’s work, which rather than negate access (or departure), complicates and multiplies points of entry, positioning the surface of the image as one of many contiguous and coexisting structures. In her videos, decontextualized objects—which are cast against uniformly-colored backgrounds or patterned, material supports—both initiate changes in shape and activity and are acted upon to transform. Though not always revealed, her body is never far off.
Tenser carries with her an ever expanding repertoire of gestures, including hovering, rolling, gliding, stretching, climbing, balancing, and simply staying still. These gestures, which are at times choreographed and at other times more incidental, have developed in relation to her body, as have the proportions of the performance objects and environments she creates for them. The qualities of these objects determine their use, often going against a prescribed function in favor of affective, aesthetic, and intuitive use. Objects and bodies pass fluidly across planes even as Tenser moves between sculpture, video, and performance, redefining what might constitute, today, new ways to approach the overlapping qualities of these practices.[ Read More ]