The art partnership of Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla involves performance, video, sound, photography, drawing, and sculpture. Allora and Calzadilla contributed to the 2011 and 2015 Venice Biennales, and the 2013 dOCUMENTA in Kassel.Read More
This duo had their tertiary educations separately in different parts of the world. In 1996, Allora gained a BA from the University of Richmond in Vermont, while Calzadilla acquired a BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas in San Juan. In 1999 Allora was participating in the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York, while in 1998 Calzadilla was attending the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. In 2003 Allora completed a MS at MIT, Cambridge while Calzadilla in 2001 graduated with a MFA from Bard College. They met when studying in Florence in 1995.
Allora & Calzadilla made their first collaborative work in 1998 with Charcoal Dance Floor at Luigi Marrozzini Gallery in San Juan. It was a charcoal drawing of dancers on a disco floor drawn realistically from an aerial perspective onto a grid of 40 wooden panels.
Their work usually involves some aspects of the relational or social, focusing on geopolitical or ecological issues. Their complicated research-based practice is especially interested in the relationship between sound and U.S. militarism. To do this, often a wide range of technical expertise is involved for the production of sculpture or installations.
Their most spectacular work is probably the outdoor performance Allora & Calzadilla created for the 2011 Venice Biennale outside the U.S. Pavilion. Part of the Gloria exhibition, Track and Field presented a 60-ton British military tank, belly up so that its rotating tracks turned a treadmill placed on top, and functioning so that eight members of the American Olympic squad could train in front of a large audience.
Another humorous work was a low-key performance successfully made into a video. Returning a Sound (2004) mocked U.S. military marching bands by attaching a raucous trumpet to a motor scooter's exhaust, loudly squawking as it was driven around Puerto Rico's Vieques Island, once a U.S. naval base.
Allora & Calzadilla are the recipients of the Scientific Merit Award and the Audience Award at the 10th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival, New York (2017); the Gwangju Biennial Prize (2004); a Penny McCall Foundation Grant (2003); a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (2002); and a Cintas Fellowship (2000).
Allora & Calzadilla have participated in many solo and group exhibitions.
Solo exhibitions include Specters of Noon, The Menil Collection, Houston (2020); Balance of Power, Tate Modern, London (2019); Cadastre, Gladstone Gallery, New York (2019); Ecosystems, Cleveland Museum of Art (2019); Graft, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2019); Hope Hippo, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (2018); Chevel, Radiceterna, Arte e Ambiente, Calidarium of the Botanical Gardens, Palermo (2018).
Group exhibitions include Guangzhou Image Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art (2021); I am a Multitude, North Norwegian Art Center, Svolvær, Norway (2021); The Refracted Body, 11th Liverpool Biennial (2021); Des marches, démarches, FRAC Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur, Marseille (2020); Sound and Silence – Compass, Lifespan, Raptor's Rapture, Apotomé, Kunstmuseum Bonn (2020); They Do Not Understand Each Other, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2020); Al filo de la navaja, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2020); The Willfulness of Objects, The Bass, Miami (2020).
Allora & Calzadilla's work is held in the collections of Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Santurce; Kunstmuseen Krefeld; Israel Museum Collections, Tel Aviv; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Museum of Art, Oslo.
John Hurrell | Ocula | 2022