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Ale de la Puente

Ale de la Puente’s eclectic training was more oriented towards acquiring specific techniques related to industrial design and boatbuilding than to art and its theories, although she supplemented this scientific knowledge with training in jewellery and goldsmithing. Armed with this expertise, she decided, some twenty-five years ago, to devote her time and her explorations to the visual arts.

Text Michel Blancsubé
All images Courtesy by the artist and SAENGER GALERIA

She is one of those creators whose work is fuelled by an ongoing dialogue between art and science, by years of intense conversation between her discoveries and astrophysics, astronomy and cosmology – those disciplines so endlessly developed and relied on ever since humans, their necks broken by gazing up at the starry night, have been trying to understand and give meaning, any meaning, to what they witnessed during their brief passage on Earth. From Plato’s Timaeus, which asserted the existence of a god, to the cosmology of the standard Big Bang model still in vogue today, the explanations of the origin of the world follow one another with their share of speculation and uncertainty.

One of the artist’s obsessions is recording the coincidences the activity of the universe gives rise to. In September 2017, she sailed along the equator line, with no land in sight, on the day of the autumn equinox when the Sun’s rays were perfectly perpendicular to its median line. A photograph taken from a pre-booked satellite captures this strange celestial encounter. For nothing in the world would Ale de la Puente miss the various alignments of which the Earth, Moon and Sun are capable, such as the rare transits of Venus and other singular phenomena that the universe dispenses over and over again. She documents and sublimates these events using all the media available to an artist today. On December 9, 2016, a strange comet crossed the sky over Mexico City at nightfall: …el primer deseo, (…the first desire,) consisted of a sphere of fireworks pulled by a helicopter, and for more than an hour, we were treated to freaky light phenomena.

It is clear that Ale de la Puente passionately and voluptuously embraces scales of time and space that defy our imaginations, at the same time keeping in mind the universalist necessity of artistic action. The artificial separation between science and art has had its day, if it ever made any sense. There are more and more programs that bring scientists and artists together. Ale de la Puente has carried out several residencies in the environment of scientists, including one at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva in October 2016 and, five years later, a month’s sailing in the Sea of Cortez aboard the oceanographic research vessel R/V FALKOR. Ale de la Puente collaborates with astrophysicists and mathematicians, but also with carpenters, composers, writers, ironworkers, philosophers, mezcal producers, gardeners, musicians and poets, to name but a few of her accomplices.

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