Artist: Allora and Calzadilla
Venue: Temporary Kunsthalle Berlin
Date: July 11 – September 6, 2009
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy Temporare Kunsthalle Berlin
The Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla. Known for their complex artistic vocabulary utilizing film, installations, performances, and sculpture, their artistic practice engages with history and contemporary geo-political realities, exposing their complicated dynamics, destabilizing and re-ordering them in ways that can be alternately poetic, humorous, and revelatory.
Allora & Calzadilla’s new work Compass, 2009, conceived specifically for the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin, creates a new spatial and acoustic experience. Dividing the Kunsthalle horizontally, a new level is introduced into the space, inaccessible to the viewer and reducing the grand exhibition hall to less than one third of its normal height. Visitors can only hear the vibrations and sounds of an a capella dancer performing a choreography above their heads. The otherwise empty exhibition space is turned into a huge resonating chamber:
“The performer is like a specter that moves through this flat horizontal stretch and whose sonic traces become a type of metrical language – a rhythmic and poetic means of communication with the public below.” (Allora & Calzadilla)
Allora & Calzadilla will also present their most recent video work How to Appear Invisible, 2009. Filmed in Berlin on the site of the Schlossplatz at the close of 2008, it documents the last remains of the Palast der Republik being torn down. Bearing witness to this event is a German Shepherd dog wearing a makeshift cone collar fashioned from the trademark container of one of the largest American fast food franchises: Kentucky Fried Chicken. The camera follows the dog roaming through the barren no man’s land of the palace ruins as if it was searching for the last remains of an utopia that has vanished.
Both pieces address the historically significant grounds where the Kunsthalle has been temporarily erected: the Schlossplatz with its remaining traces and signs. The empty space of the hall points to the vacuum left behind by the deconstruction of the Palast der Republik and to the debate about the future of the site, while the film puts into play notions of iconolatry and iconoclasm within monumental public space. With their exhibition, Allora & Calzadilla elaborate on the relations between orientation and disorientation, memory and visibility, presence and absence – as well as on the realms of imagination, projection, and possibility.
Jennifer Allora (*1974 in Philadelphia/USA) and Guillermo Calzadilla (*1971 in Havanna/Kuba) live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Currently they are living in Berlin as DAAD fellows.
Their installations and performances have been on view in large solo exhibitions, among others, Haus Esters, Krefeld Germany (2009); Haus der Kunst / Kunstverein, München (2008); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2008); The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago (2007); Serpentine Gallery, London (2007); Kunsthalle Zürich (2007); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2006); S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent (2006) and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2004).
They have also participated in important group exhibitions including “Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art,” Barbican, London (2008); “Greenwashing,” Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2008); 7th Gwangju Biennial (2008); ”After Nature,” New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City (2008); 16th Biennial of Sydney (2008); Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art (2007); Istanbul Biennial (2007); “All About Laughter,” Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2007); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006); “Beyond the Museum,” Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2006) and 51st Venice Biennial (2005).
The exhibition is curated by Dirk Luckow, Director of Kunsthalle zu Kiel, and since 2007 Member of the Artistic Advisory Board of the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin.
An artist book “Allora & Calzadilla & Etcetera” will be published on the occasion of the exhibition by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König.