Diana Aisenberg: Mystical Robotics in the Crystal Economy

For the past ten years, Diana Aisenberg has collected all sorts of bits and pieces of costume jewellery, toys, mementos, small objects that could be strung together, useless bric-a-brac usually rattling around pockets and drawers. Today, she summons this randomly assembled assortment and like a good host arranges gatherings with carefully determined seating plans to create a greater whole. Fellow artists, friends and collaborators helped her to tie together each colourful link in the chain in what became a meditative, manual enterprise. This is part of a lengthy project, called the ‘Crystal Economy’, still ongoing, which comprises all her artworks made by these unifying threads, threads that include the conversations that came along with them and that might embellish spaces or lay them bare. Diana has thus created a language based around the exchange, encounter and presentation of these fantasies.

The pieces speak to Aisenberg’s creative method and roots: the task begins with collection, continues with the dismantling of bracelets and necklaces and is completed with the adaption of each discovery so as to subsequently string them together according to very precise rules. The sequence transforms the material: erasing the context in which each object was used before making it a part of a new architecture. Some of the pieces resemble rain, others tassels or living creatures: her fantasies range from minimal gestures such as a gently draped plumb line to an ebullient twenty-five kilo cascade. Diana’s creative process is not unlike a mother ship that transports particles of collective experience into outer space.

For the re-opening of the Museo Moderno, Diana made two works specially conceived for the museum’s circulation areas. Zaguán y besos [Passage and Kisses] is a large installation that begins at the ground floor entrance. Something similar to a portal greets visitors to create a physical frontier between the interior and exterior of the museum. The passage filters the light from the patio and transforms it into warm colours accompanied by the rustling of the strings as they are moved by currents of air: a keen vibration that strikes a bodily chord. The second piece, Totema [Female-Totem], on the first floor of the museum, is a four-eyed entity: a monumental presence that rises up between the different galleries. A lavishly dressed deity, it broadcasts waves of living power.

Carla Barbero

Diana Aisenberg (Buenos Aires, 1958) studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Her work explores the relationship between art and education through teaching and the creation of projects that include both artists and lay-people. She is the author of Historias del arte. Diccionario de certezas e intuiciones (2004) and Método Diana Aisenberg, apuntes para un aprendizaje del arte (2018), published by Adriana Hidalgo. Her works feature in the collections of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires), the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (Mar del Plata) and the Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Franklin Rawson (San Juan).
Notable exhibitions of her work include Economía de cristal [Crystal Economy] held at the Aldo de Sousa Galería (2019), Julio Artist-Run in Paris, France (2018), Fundación Bica, Utila, Honduras (2017) and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata (2015), and Escuela [School] held at the Centro Cultural Recoleta (2008), the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Salta (2009), and the Centro Cultural Parque España, Rosario (2009), among others. She has taken part in the Curitiba International Biennal of Contemponary Art, Brazil (2019), and the 7th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2009). She lives and works in Buenos Aires.