Economía de cristal en los tiempos del toroide
Aldo de Sousa
08.11.19 | 13.12.19
Economía de cristal en los tiempos del toroide, the first solo show of work by Diana Aisenberg (Buenos Aires, 1958) ever held at Aldo de Sousa, opened on Art Weekend Buenos Aires (AWBA). The point of departure for the ten works clinging to the gallery’s walls and columns was the toroid, a concept from geometry that consists of “a surface engendered by a closed polygon that rotates on an axis.”
French mathematician Jules Henri Poincaré used that figure to measure a structure’s degree of chaos since, as he explained, “if a system is not chaotic, the three-dimensional projection of its trajectories in N dimensions always forms a perfect toroid because the trajectory is closed and, at a certain juncture, the system returns to its initial state.” The artist, meanwhile, noticed that the toroid “is the same shape as the rings, hoops, and loops found in common jewelry.” On the basis of that observation, Aisenberg used remains of necklaces, collars, and other “fantasies in disuse” to build the pieces in this exhibition.
Aisenberg circulated amongst colleagues, friends, and students an invitation to gather material: “If an earring has broken, if you don’t use the pair because you lost one of them, if you have necklaces hanging in your closet or on your wall for decoration because they are really not right for you anymore, if you mom has a broken bracelet, if your boyfriend has beautiful collars lying around—anything like that that you don’t use will become part of a large threaded community, the raw material for the construction of a work of art.” After the collecting phase, the artist organized get togethers to thread the pieces, on the grounds that “everything that rests on collective work is refuge.” In a text for the show, she explains that “the toroid first appeared on a sheet, a page in a notebook. From there, it took on the shape of a request, an entreaty, and a cooperative of objects was formed. It is not a question of going beyond the notebook. It’s about staying there as invitation. It is not a sketch, it’s a mark. It is not a draft, it’s a plan. The toroid is a mechanism that appears in all the works in this show. It’s a structure of thought.”
For Aisenberg, “art and education go hand in hand.” She adds that school exists insofar as there is a figure recognized as a teacher. For that reason, “school and education, like art, are the product of ties. They are the possibility of an encounter beyond the ones socially stipulated and codified for life in community,” she explains in the conversation Tablero: MALBA + NC-Arte (https://youtu.be/CXoQsTREhyk). Aisenberg’s projects often begin with a call for participation, with an invitation. Thousands contributed to her Historias del arte. Diccionario de certezas e intuiciones (Art Histories: Dictionary of Certainties and Intuitions), published over ten years ago. In 2018, she documented and published her pedagogical methodology in MDA (Método Diana Aisenberg). Apuntes para un aprendizaje del arte (Diana Aisenberg Method: Notes on Art Learning), a handbook for anyone interested. “My knowledge is tied to experimentation, to teaching, to work with other artists, and to the craft of painting. Being an artist and being a teacher are, for me, inseparable: they are two activities that feed off one another.” On December 12, in the context of the show, she handed out lifelong credentials in the Diana Aisenberg Method (MDA, for the acronym in Spanish) “to all those who came into contact with the method; to those who, since 1983, have participated in and constructed it; to the coordinators and assistants in all its different phases; and to faithful and abiding friends.” The credential certifies “the experience of being part of and witness to the development of a method that investigates art and being an artist.” In this first edition, some 287 unique and untransferable cards were given out to students, editors, gallerists, former gallerists, and friends.
Content produced by arteBA. Annual Report on contemporary Argentine art.