Alina Tenser

Colby Chamberlain, Artforum, May 1, 2022

The work of Alina Tenser inhabits a notional space at the juncture of a Montessori school and the Container Store. Her sculptures, performances, and videos suggest playtime scenarios of experiential learning while evoking a distinctly grown-up predilection for organizing. Though children may view the “useful pot to put things in” that Winnie the Pooh presents to Eeyore as a lackluster birthday gift, the right storage device can excite the passions of adults (or at least “adulting” millennials) in ways that Marx’s theory of the commodity fails to fully comprehend. Tenser seeks to activate the psychic energies latent in the trays, bins, hangers, clips, and doodads that promise not merely to discipline a spice cabinet or tidy a desk drawer but also to stabilize and even renew one’s fundamental sense of self.