C&AL: In 2018, you presented an installation called 1,000,000% for the Berlin Art Prize. Can you briefly describe it?
Ana Alenso: The installation questions the phenomenon of hyperinflation in Venezuela and relates it to the so-called Curse of Resources or Abundancy Paradox. This is a theory from political economy, which describes how wealth in natural resources is equivalent to the increase in violence and corruption in countries such as Angola, the Congo and Nigeria. In the case of Venezuela, a country with the largest oil reserves in the world and paradoxically a current inflation of 1,000,000% (the same as Germany in 1923, for example), it is absurd to try to understand in concrete terms how we have reached this point and how we think about the future. Thus, art becomes a tool of necessary speculation.
The installation is a collection of sculptures, objects, industrial waste, engines, sounds, lights and photographs connected by hoses and synchronized with each other. While you listen to the cries of a broker in the Chicago stock exchange coming from the inside of an oil barrel, you can see how one of the main elements of the installation is activated next to it, a prototype of the “Money Cyclone”, a cabin of plastic containing about two million Bolivars Fuertes (BsF), worth as little as 20 cents. The rest of the elements of the installation are still active: rotating pieces of asphalt, a “tombola” that lights up, a clicking “ticket check” machine, car parts and LED lamps hanging from the ceiling, photographs on the floor etc.