Allora Calzadilla

researchers, artists

San Juan, US


Through a complex research-oriented practice, Allora & Calzadilla critically address the intersections and complicities between the cultural, the historical and the geopolitical. The interdisciplinary nature of their interventions is echoed by an expanded use of the artistic medium that includes performance, sculpture, sound, video and photography. Their dynamic engagement with the art historical results in an acute attention to both the conceptual and the material, the metaphoric as well as the literal. The Puerto Rico-based artists have studied the ephemeral nature of collective drawing with monumental sticks of chalk at the Biennial de Lima, Peru (Chalk [Lima], 1998–2002); the imprints of colonial, nationalist, and military violence on the diverse populations and landscapes of Vieques, Puerto Rico (Land Mark (Foot Prints), 2001–2002; Land Mark, 2003; Returning a Sound, 2004; Under Discussion, 2006 and Half Mast/Full Mast, 2011); and the resonance of playing, warping and combining music from various moments in history (Clamor, 2006; Wake Up, 2007; Sediments Sentiments- Figures of Speech, 2008; Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano, 2008; Raptor’s Rapture, 2012; ApotomÄ“, 2013; 3, 2013); as well as the entanglement between biophysics, semiotics and actuality (Growth, 2004; Puerto Rican Light - Cueva Vientos, 2015).

Allora and Calzadilla live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Jennifer Allora (b. 1974) received a BA from the University of Richmond in Virginia (1996) and an MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2003); Guillermo Calzadilla (b. 1971, Cuba) 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 were finalists for the Hugo Boss Prize (2006) and the Nam June Paik Award (2006). Select recent solo exhibitions include 'Specters of Noon', The Menil Collection, Houston, TX, USA (2020); 'Chalk', Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA (2019); 'The Tropical Pharmacy', Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain (2019); ‘Hope Hippo’, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, Mexico  (2018); 'La noche que volvimos a ser gente', El Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia (2018); Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, Spain (2018); 'Blackout', MAXXI, Rome, Italy (2018); ‘Allora & Calzadilla: Echo to Artifact’, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (2016); ALT Art Space, Istanbul, Turkey (2016); ‘Split The Lark’, Royaumont Abbey, Asnières-sur-Oise, France (2016); ‘Puerto Rican Light (Cueva Vientos)’, a DIA Art Foundation Commission in Guayanilla/Penuelas Puerto Rico (2015); ‘Intervals’, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA, USA (2014); Kaldor Public Art Projects, Sydney, Australia (2012); Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN, USA (2012); ‘Performance 9: Allora & Calzadilla’, MoMA, New York, NY, USA (2010); The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway (2009); Temporäre Kunstalle Berlin, Berlin, Germany (2009); ‘Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano’, Haus der Kunst München, Munich, Germany (2008); ‘Never Mind that Noise you Heard’, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2008); ‘Clamor’, Serpentine Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2007); Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland (2007); ‘Wake Up, The Renaissance Society’ at The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, US (2007); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK (2007); and ‘Land Mark’, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2006). They have participated in various biennales, such as the 56th, 54th and 51st Biennale di Venezia International Art Exhibition, Venice, Italy (2015, 2011, 2005); the 10th and 7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2014, 2008); the 9th and 6th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2013, 2007); the 30th Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana Slovenia (2013); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012); the 12th and 10th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2011, 2007); the 29th and 14th Biennial de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2010, 1998); 16th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2008); the 9th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France (2007); the 1st and 2nd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia (2005, 2007); the 14th, 13th and 8th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2019, 2017, 2007); the 2006 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum, New York, NY, USA (2006); the 2nd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China (2005); the 6th Dakar Biennale, Dakar, Senegal (2004); the 3rd Biennale Iberoamericana, Lima, Peru (2002); and the 7th Biennial de la Habana, Havana, Cuba (2000). They are the recipients of other prizes, including DAAD, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (2008-2009); the Gwangju Biennial Prize (2004); Penny McCall Foundation Grant (2003); Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (2002); and the Cintas Fellowship (2002-2001).


The Great Silence