The Museo Reina Sofía screens There Is Nothing to Understand Here, a documentary on artist Elena Asins (Madrid, 1940 — Azpirotz, Navarra, 2015), along with two of her unreleased short digital animation films. The documentary, made by Javi Álvarez and Olga Sevillano and produced by the Museo, is shown for the first time in Madrid following its international premiere at the Punto de Vista Film Festival in Navarra and a brief online viewing in May and June 2020.
Elena Asins ardently explored abstract language in the fields of logical thought and algebra applied to geometric abstraction, with a career arc that ties 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. The documentary explores the uniqueness of Asins’s artistic practice — perpetually characterised by compositional rigour and formal refinement — stretching across a broad array of formats and mediums, from concrete poetry and drawing to video, via sculpture and installation. The film, resulting from research into the artist’s archive conducted over more than two years, is a multi-voiced account in which different figures seek to respond to the many questions that formulate a strict and demanding artistic practice which, as art historian Javier Maderuelo highlights, is “pure mental process”. The production also features thebequath 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 Triay.
The documentary is accompanied by a screening of two of Asins’s unreleased short films from her personal archive, bequeathed to the Museo after her death. Both audiovisual pieces continue an investigation into geometric abstraction and, uncommonly, reveal biographical aspects of the artist during the last days of her life.
This event is programmed inside the framework of a series of activations of the Collection throughout the month of March, underscoring feminist artistic practices and the work of women artists.
Thursday, 31 March 2022 – 6pm / Second session: Thursday, 7 April – 6pm
Elena Asins and Gorka Alda. A Letter from Engelmann to Wittgenstein 1
Spain, 2011, b/w, sound, 4’19’’, DA. Museo Reina Sofía Collection
Elena Asins and Gorka Alda. A Letter from Engelmann to Wittgenstein 2
Spain, 2011, b/w, sound, DA, 6’40’’. Museo Reina Sofía Collection
Javi Álvarez and Olga Sevillano. There Is Nothing to Understand Here
Spain, 2020, colour, original version in Spanish with English subtitles, DA, 62’
―With a presentation by Javi Álvarez and Olga Sevillano in first session