Rencontre avec Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla

EHESS Salle Lombard 96 Bd Raspail  -  96 BD Raspail  -  75006
«Something you should know : Artistes et praticiens aujourd'hui», un séminaire conçu et organisé par Patricia Falguières, Elisabeth Lebovici, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Natasa Petresin dans le cadre du CESTA/EHESS.

Rencontre avec Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, mercredi 31 mai, 19H - 21H, 96 Bd Raspail, 75006, Salle Lombard (RdC).

Jennifer Allora (b. 1974, USA) and Guillermo Calzadilla (b.1971, Cuba) have been working together since 1995. In much their collaborative work, through a practice that includes video, sculpture, photography, and works that evoke possibilities of communication, critique, play and humour intertwine. Starting from their individual backgrounds, both scientific and artistic, they zoom in on current urban, economic, political, aesthetic and historical systems.Puerto Rico, where the artists live and work, is a hybrid Caribbean culture with a colonial legacy that continues to flourish in the present  day under the auspices of the United States. Despite its tropical location and the abundant natural beauty of the surrounding region, Puerto Rico is an island where heavy industry, commerce and space exploration prevail. It is this unusual diversity that informs the subject matter and approach behind Allora and Calzadilla's body of work, which is often specific to the geographical location of its production and display. The artists are known to often involve viewers and local communities, thus defining political and social issues and attempting to link geographically distant locations, conceptually as well as physically. In their photographic series “Land Mark (Footprints)”, 2001-2004, they documented the practice of protestors traspassing on the military base in order to disrupt testing exercises. For these protestors, Allora and Calzadilla designed special soles for their shoes so that military personnel would receive a range of messages. In 2003 the artists shipped a solar-powered battery-bank, charged in Puerto Rico to the exhibition space, Tate Modern, where it was used to power Dan Flavin's fluorescent-light sculpture “Puerto Rican Light (to Jeanie Blake)”, 1965. Another work, the acclaimed video “Returning a Sound”, was filmed on Vieques, a small island adjacent to Puerto Rico, where for sixty years the US did exercises in military bombardment. This resulted in pollution, noise and health problems among the inhabitants. The bombardments ended in May 2003 and the film, in which we see a moped with a trumpet attached to the exhaust criss-crossing the island, was shot in 2004. It is at once an echo of the former soundscape, a celebration of the victory of the civil disobedience movement on the island and as well as a resounding call to attention for its new struggle for sustainable development. In these works, as in others, Allora & Calzadilla maintain a strong poeticism, whilst expressing political ideas of independence and control, and utilising the solidity of functional materials. When talking about their work, they often address the responsibility and role of the artists in social movements.
  • le mercredi 31 mai 2006 à 19h

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