There Is Nothing to Understand Here. A documentary on Elena Asins

From Wednesday 27 May to Sunday, 7 June 2020 / Museo Reina Sofía Vimeo channel

27 may, 2020 - 7 june, 2020


Organised by:

Museo Reina Sofía

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There Is Nothing to Understand Here. A documentary on Elena Asins
Spain, digital archive, 2020, colour, original version in Spanish with English subtitles, 62’
Directors: Javi Álvarez and Olga Sevillano
Production: Museo Reina Sofía

Antígona (Antigone)
Spain, digital archive, 2015, black and white, original version in Spanish with the distorted voice of the artist, 72’7’’
Director: Elena Asins
Museo Reina Sofía Collection

The Museo Reina Sofía premieres an internally produced online documentary on the artist Elena Asins, resulting from research into the artist’s archive conducted over a two-year period, and assembling unpublished documents and unprecedented interpretations around one of the key figures in geometric abstraction and art as research since 1960. 

Elena Asins (Madrid, 1940 – Azpiroz, Navarra, 2015) ardently explored abstract language in the fields of logical thought and algebra applied to geometric abstraction, with a career arc that tied in with the constructive tradition of the twentieth century’s avant-garde via computing and 1960s information theory, leading to her standing as a pioneer of computer-generated art in Spain.  

This documentary explores the uniqueness of Elena Asins’ work — perpetually characterised by a compositional rigour and formal refinement — stretching across a broad array of forms and mediums, from concrete poetry and drawing to video, via sculpture and installation. This multi-voiced account sees different figures seek to respond to the many questions that formulate a strict and demanding artistic practice which, as Javier Maderuelo highlights, is “pure mental process”.

The piece also features the participation of Gorka Alda, José Luis Alexanco, Sofía Barroso, Manuel Borja-Villel, Capi Corrales, Ignacio Gómez de Liaño, Luis Gordillo, Juan José Lasarte, Javier Maderuelo, Soledad Sevilla and Ian Tray.

The premiere of the film is accompanied by the experimental video Antígona (Antigone, 2015), Elena Asins’ final work in which she reflects on the limits of language, in addition to a PDF version of the exhibition catalogue for her solo show, Fragments of Memory, held in the Museo In 2011, and including an anthology of texts by the artist with her reflections on Wittgenstein’s thought, formal plastic language, geometry and the structure which, ultimately, spans her entire output.