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Allora and Calzadilla
THE GREAT SILENCE, 2014
3-channel HD video installation
Text by Ted Chiang
Installation view: “Intervals” Fabric Workshop and Museum, 2014
Photo: Carlos Avendano
Allora and Calzadilla
RAPTOR’S RAPTURE, 2012
HD Video, Color, Sound
Allora & Calzadilla: Echo to Artifact is the first major exhibition in Canada of the work of internationally renowned artists, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. It features film, sculpture, sound pieces and performances, and new work based on the artists’ research into western Canada’s prehistoric past. The works in the exhibition consider the nature of sound, music and the voice as a way to animate both natural forms and man-made artifacts and include the remains of dinosaurs, a piece of Hadean rock and the oldest musical instrument ever discovered.
The artists note: “The exhibition bears witness to incomplete presences and resonant remainders from the past. It finds in music a measure and a reckoning with these elusive forces and the abyss that lies between.”
In the summer of 2014, Allora & Calzadilla made a research trip to Alberta and visited the Burgess Shale and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. A main feature of the AGA exhibition is the sculptural installation, Intervals, composed of transparent acrylic lecterns and dinosaur bones. These accompany Lifespan, a live vocal performance centered on a piece of the Earth’s mantle from the Acasta River Gneiss (NWT) and estimated to be over four billion years old.
Allora & Calzadilla: Echo to Artifact also features three films: Apotomē (2013), 3 (2013) and Raptor’s Rapture (2012), all of which stem from the artists’ research into specific historical artifacts and their musical affinities. The Great Silence (2014), a three-channel video installation, focuses on the world’s largest radio telescope, which transmits and captures radio waves to and from the farthest edges of the universe. Located in Esperanza, Puerto Rico, it is also home to the last members of an endangered species of parrots.
As part of Allora and Calzadilla: Echo to Artifact, the artwork Lifespan includes daily performances by three vocalists.
Tuesday and Friday: 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm
Wednesday and Thursday: 6, 7, 8 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 1, 2, 3 pm
Each performance lasts approximately 15 minutes.
About the Artists
Jennifer Allora (born 1974, Philadelphia) and Guillermo Calzadilla (born 1971, Havana) have collaborated on a conceptually rigorous body of work since 1995. Through a research-based approach, their work traces intersections of deep history, material culture, and politics through a wide variety of mediums, namely performance, sculpture, sound, video, and photography.
Their work has been exhibited and collected widely in public institutions and private collections. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented at; Dia Art Foundation, Guayanilla–Peñuelas, Puerto Rico (2015); Philadelphia Museum of Art and Fabric Workshop and Museum (2014); Trussardi Foundation, Milan (2013); Indianapolis Museum of Art (2012); the US Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); the Museum of Modern Art (2010); The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo (2009); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2008); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2008); Serpentine Gallery, London (2007); Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich (2007) and The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2007). Among numerous group exhibitions, they have participated in the “51st and 56thVenice Biennale (2005, 2015); Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany (2012); the 5th, 7th, and 10th Gwangju Biennials, South Korea (2004, 2008, 2014); and the 24th and the 29th São Paulo Biennial (1998, 2010).
Allora and Calzadilla live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Allora & Calzadilla: Echo to Artifact is organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta. Presented by Enbridge and United States Consulate General Calgary.