Veins Aligned [with] A Lapse, a Stain, a Fall
The drawings, installations, photographs, performances, and sculptures created by the visual artist Otobong Nkanga question the concept of territory and the values attributed to natural resources, exploring the relationship between their meaning and their function according to the culture. Often taking the landscape and architecture as starting points, she analyses human traces which attest both to ways of life and to environmental issues.
Inspired by a journey she made from Verona to Bolzano, the sculpture Veins Aligned traces a continual line of around 26 metres, as if could go through walls and draw a horizon line across the landscape. It is made using local materials such as Lasa Venato Fior di Melo® marble, whose hues of green and translated name “apple blossom” provide a reference to apples typical of this region. The sculpture reminds us of a river whose waters are polluted due to the abusive exploitation of raw materials. With her movements, the artist “aligns” the layers of glass and marble, whose limitations she pushes in order to bring out their mineral and organic properties, and at the same time sets them against the transformation processes of these materials and their respective fates. “The impurities which affect the glass are a reflection of our society”, she explains.
An interweaving of reflections, materials, and sensations, Veins Aligned, accompanied by the etched poem A Lapse, a Stain, a Fall, was presented at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2018, and received a special mention from the jury.