MAD RUSH / EXISTING OTHERWISE – THE FUTURE OF COEXISTENCE
Solo exhibition by Ana Alenso (VZ)
Curated by Solvej Ovesen and co-curated by Isabel Lewis and Ibrahim Mahama.
20 January – 30 April 2022
at NKRUMAH VOLI-NI, Tamale, Ghana
The installation "Mad Rush", 2022, is a series of sculptures, which build an electric circuit of artifacts sourced from the gold mining and oil industry. These are barrels, lights, cords, tubes and motors, amongst other things. Removed from the industries themselves, the interconnected objects and tools gain their own life and become perceptible as independent sculptural elements or poetic entities. What do objects tell us about their provenance and use?
The process of gold mining can be seen as an alchemical process, just as brilliant and blinding, poisonous and destructive. The mining industry pollutes our water, air, earth, forests, and national reserves. Is it perhaps time that humanity stops digging and starts accepting, even healing, the environmental and social collapse mining has created?
In the labyrinthine space of Nkrumah Voli-ni, the glow of gold appears and disappears like a mirage between the columns of the silo. Sculptural elements remind us that everything in this world is in motion, everything is constantly changing and transmuting.
“In order to reflect on the environmental and social destruction associated with mining, it is necessary to understand it not only on a geographical level, but also on an existential level. Who are these miners who risk their lives for money, how far does their discovery leave its footprint?“ Ana Alenso, 2022
Within “Mad Rush”, Ana Alenso expands on a previous project which focused on mining in Venezuela, connecting it to the experience in the Dompem mines, situated in Assin, Central Ghana. Here, she interviewed workers and took photos and videos of the mines. Alenso draws from the local gold mining imaginary to create the objects in the installation. The installation reveals different signs of the local gold mining imaginary. The sculptures expand our perspective of mining as an issue that affects both countries and localities, but also the entire planet. The exhibition by Alenso is an attempt to activate the whole venue of Nkrumah Voli-ni, which was originally built as a means of food storage and to support the economical independence of Ghana in the 1960s, as a site of inventing new resource circuits.