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b. 1995, Puerto Rico

Allora & Calzadilla Biography

Allora & Calzadilla magnify areas of political tension in the public realm through a wide-ranging body of work. They identify and stress the hairline fractures in societal systems – nationhood, environmentalism, states of war and resistance – through performance, sculpture, sound, video and photography. Meticulous researchers both, an understanding of material is central to their practice and they home in on its symbolic dimension, tracing the many marks of history, culture and politics. In the alternative monument Chalks, 1998–2006, pieces of this most fragile and soluble of materials were scaled up to man-size and placed in public squares in Lima, New York and Paris, inviting passersby to take part in a collective drawing that would quickly disappear underfoot. Elsewhere the human body itself bears the marks of history: in the series of videos about the Caribbean island of Vieques, controlled by the US government since the 1940s and where locals were displaced for an environmentally disastrous military exclusion zone. In Half Mast\Full Mast, 2010, a split channel video is unified by a flagpole aligned between two images that show sites of victory or loss; one gymnast at a time enters either top or bottom screen and physically raises his body to a 90-degree angle, a human flag at either full or half-mast. This image, like many of the duo’s works, balloons with irony or absurdity to what the artists call a ‘monstrous dimension’.

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Allora & Calzadilla live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1974, Jennifer Allora received a BA from the University of Richmond in Virginia, 1996, and an MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003. Guillermo Calzadilla was born in 1971 in Havana, Cuba and received a BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1996, and an MFA from Bard College, 2001. Collaborating since 1995, Allora & Calzadilla represented the USA in the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011. Solo exhibitions include Indianapolis Museum of Art, 2012, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2008, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2008, Kunsthalle Zurich, 2007, and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2004. Among numerous group exhibitions, they participated in documenta 13, Kassel, Germany, 2012; the 29th São Paulo Biennial, 2010, and Performance 9 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2011.

Text courtesy Lisson Gallery.

Allora & Calzadilla Featured Artworks

Allora & Calzadilla Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, DEMAIN EST LA QUESTION at Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris
27 June–25 July 2020 Group Exhibition DEMAIN EST LA QUESTION Galerie Chantal CrouselParis

Allora & Calzadilla Represented By

Lisson Gallery contemporary art gallery in Lisson Street, London, United Kingdom Lisson Gallery London, New York, Shanghai

Allora & Calzadilla In Related Press

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Allora & Calzadilla Related Press Allora & Calzadilla 19 March 2018, Art Agenda

A piercing whistle punctuates the blaring of a trumpet. But in the columned central space of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, the only visible instrument is a grand piano. For three days a week throughout the course of the exhibition, the instrument is played—and, one could say, worn—by a pianist who stands in a hole cut into its center....

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Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor and Marina Abramović lead major new exhibition Everything At Once at Store Studios Related Press Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor and Marina Abramović lead major new exhibition Everything At Once at Store Studios 8 September 2017, The Vinyl Factory

This October, Store Studios will host Everything At Once, an extensive off-site exhibition featuring 24 artists currently shown at Lisson Gallery in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

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Modernism, Voyeurism, and a Sentient Parrot: Highlights from Dubai Art Week 2017 Related Press Modernism, Voyeurism, and a Sentient Parrot: Highlights from Dubai Art Week 2017 17 April 2017, Creators

Dubai Art Week, like everything in the Emirati capital, is decentralized. One could argue that this year the first days actually took place in a different city, Sharjah. A twenty-to-forty minute drive to the Northeast, depending on traffic, Sharjah sits up the coast closer to the peninsula of Oman. If Dubai's character is defined by individuals...

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A Biennial in Sharjah Offers Worlds Enough Related Press A Biennial in Sharjah Offers Worlds Enough

The poet Andrew Marvell once wrote an elaborate and lush entreaty to his love interest which began 'Had we but world enough and time.' These words occur to me as I think about my experience at the Sharjah Biennial earlier this month. Many biennials are full to bursting with work that is carefully chosen and presented. But this one, in particular...

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