Alina Tenser: Reading Room

April 25 - May 24, 2019


…emotions create the very effect of the surfaces and boundaries that allow us to distinguish an inside and an outside in the first place…

-Sara Ahmed


CRUSH Curatorial is thrilled to present Alina Tenser: Reading Room, a participatory space that invites the viewer to leaf through the artist’s new sculptural volumes.  

A large S-shaped table supports three boxes. Scaled to resonate with bodily volume, specifically the torso and head, these six-sided containers can be seen as emotional conditions or circumstances created by outer environments. Transgressing the diagram, the volumes evoke the sensation of moving through feeling, exposing shadows from the subtraction of space and inviting us to leave traces of touch within their impermanent shapes. The sculptures’ suede interiors allow for intimate moments of pause, inviting the viewer to touch the fabric and leave impressions within the pile of their nap. As performative objects, the works choreograph movements of splitting, folding, and turning inward. Rejecting singularity of form, they beg a simultaneous awareness of interiority and exteriority.

In her video, Ampersand Box (2018), Tenser proposes an interior volume of a box that exists independently of the exterior definition of its form. While the movement of the box is steady and deliberate, the expanse of volume is unpredictable. Within several seconds, the interior space shifts from alluding to concrete depth to becoming a disappearing sliver. In scrutinizing this simple five-sided container, the artist examines the subjective nature of constraint – considering its physical, circumstantial, emotional, incorporeal qualities. The video loop rarely offers a chance to grasp the complete form, yet it allows for intimate knowledge through fragmented reveals. While Tenser’s video and participatory space address similar structures, the former approaches shifting volume as an autonomous idea and the installation invites a haptic form of viewing, pointing to an embodied state of experience through depth. — Alison Karasyk

Alina Tenser's practice spans sculpture, video, and performance. Moving between these modes of working she is scratching at the same itch- to understand physical form as a transformative and manifold thing.  In her work, Tenser makes and activates objects to show the movement, function, and affordance that characterize the objects. Tenser received her BFA from School of Visual Arts and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the recipient of several distinguished awards including Daedalus Foundation Fellowship, Emerging Artist Fellowship and the Emergency Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Tenser has held solo exhibitions at 17Essex, New York, NY; Konstepidemin, Gothenburg, SE; Soloway Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; AIR, New York, NY; Nurture Art, Brooklyn, NY; and Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been exhibited at venues including MoMa, New York, NY, The Kitchen, New York, NY; Susan Inglett Gallery, New York, NY; The Suburban, Chicago, IL; and Laurel Gitlen Gallery, NewYork, NY; Kate Werble, New York, NY; Gallery Diet, Miami, FL;. Tenser recently completed the Queens Museum Studio Program residency.