Skip to content

allora & calzadilla

allora & calzadilla

jennifer allora & guillermo calzadilla

1974, Philadelphia, United States & 1971, Havana, Cuba

Over the past twenty years, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla have developed an expansive and experimental body of work. Through sculpture, performance, video, sound and photography in varying combinations, they evoke contemporary geopolitics, cultural artifacts and the ‘deep time’ of archaeological history. They give meaning to their artistic research by delving into and questioning the structural and narrative conventions of storytelling and the potential of language and materiality. Allora & Calzadilla studied the cooperative and catalytic nature of impromptu collective drawing with ephemeral materials, at the Lima biennial in Peru (Chalk [Lima], 1998–2002); the imprints of colonial, nationalist, and military violence on the diverse populations and landscapes of Vieques, Puerto Rico (Landmark, 2001–2002); and the resonance of playing, warping, and combining music from various moments in history (Clamor, 2006; Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on “Ode to Joy” for a Prepared Piano, 2008; and Raptor’s Rapture, 2012). Their projects challenge viewers to build meaning through a literal, metaphorical, evidential and political reading of the work, and also to participate, as an experience that heightens aesthetic sensibility.

Jennifer Allora received her BA from the University of Richmond in Virginia (1996) and MS from MIT- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2003); Guillermo Calzadilla completed his BFA from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in Puerto Rico (1996) and MFA from Bard College in New York (2001). Collaborating since 1995, Allora & Calzadilla have been the recipients of numerous grants and awards, from foundations such as the Gwangju Biennial (2004); Penny McCall Foundation (2003); Joan Mitchell Foundation (2002) and the Cintas Fellowship (2002-2001). In 2006 they were finalists for both the Hugo Boss Prize and the Nam June Paik Award.

Allora & Calzadilla live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
puerto rican light (cueva vientos), 2015

solar-powered batteries and charger, plywood crate

installation view in el convento, natural protected area, puerto rico, 2015–2017

puerto rican light (cueva vientos), 2015

solar-powered batteries and charger, plywood crate

installation view in el convento, natural protected area, puerto rico, 2015–2017

penumbra, 2020

digital projection with sound

dimensions variable and

etelechy, 2020

coal, vocalists

434.9 x 950.5 x 1476.4 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

penumbra, 2020

digital projection with sound

dimensions variable and

etelechy, 2020

coal, vocalists

434.9 x 950.5 x 1476.4 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

graft, 2019
recycled polyvinyl chloride and paint
dimensions variable
installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

graft, 2019
recycled polyvinyl chloride and paint
dimensions variable
installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

blackout, 2020

power transformer, bronze, electricity, vocalists

306.1 × 217.2 × 200 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

blackout, 2020

power transformer, bronze, electricity, vocalists

306.1 × 217.2 × 200 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

blackout, 2020

power transformer, bronze, electricity, vocalists

306.1 × 217.2 × 200 cm and

cadastre, 2019

iron filings on linen

overall: 182.9 × 2133.6 cm, each: 182.9 × 304.8 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

blackout, 2020

power transformer, bronze, electricity, vocalists

306.1 × 217.2 × 200 cm and

cadastre, 2019

iron filings on linen

overall: 182.9 × 2133.6 cm, each: 182.9 × 304.8 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

manifest, 2020

bat and bird guano

side A: 449.6 × 208.3 × 99.1 cm, side B: 449.6 × 208.3 × 99.1 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

manifest, 2020

bat and bird guano

side A: 449.6 × 208.3 × 99.1 cm, side B: 449.6 × 208.3 × 99.1 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

the great silence, 2014

three-channel hd video, color, sound

text by ted chiang

the great silence, 2014

three-channel hd video, color, sound

text by ted chiang

puerto rican light (cueva vientos), 2015

solar-powered batteries and charger, plywood crate

installation view in el convento, natural protected area, puerto rico, 2015–2017

puerto rican light (cueva vientos), 2015

solar-powered batteries and charger, plywood crate

installation view in el convento, natural protected area, puerto rico, 2015–2017

penumbra, 2020

digital projection with sound

dimensions variable and

etelechy, 2020

coal, vocalists

434.9 x 950.5 x 1476.4 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

penumbra, 2020

digital projection with sound

dimensions variable and

etelechy, 2020

coal, vocalists

434.9 x 950.5 x 1476.4 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

graft, 2019
recycled polyvinyl chloride and paint
dimensions variable
installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

graft, 2019
recycled polyvinyl chloride and paint
dimensions variable
installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

blackout, 2020

power transformer, bronze, electricity, vocalists

306.1 × 217.2 × 200 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

blackout, 2020

power transformer, bronze, electricity, vocalists

306.1 × 217.2 × 200 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

blackout, 2020

power transformer, bronze, electricity, vocalists

306.1 × 217.2 × 200 cm and

cadastre, 2019

iron filings on linen

overall: 182.9 × 2133.6 cm, each: 182.9 × 304.8 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

blackout, 2020

power transformer, bronze, electricity, vocalists

306.1 × 217.2 × 200 cm and

cadastre, 2019

iron filings on linen

overall: 182.9 × 2133.6 cm, each: 182.9 × 304.8 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

manifest, 2020

bat and bird guano

side A: 449.6 × 208.3 × 99.1 cm, side B: 449.6 × 208.3 × 99.1 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

manifest, 2020

bat and bird guano

side A: 449.6 × 208.3 × 99.1 cm, side B: 449.6 × 208.3 × 99.1 cm

installation view of allora & calzadilla: specters of noon, menil collection, 2020-2021

the great silence, 2014

three-channel hd video, color, sound

text by ted chiang

the great silence, 2014

three-channel hd video, color, sound

text by ted chiang

allora & calzadilla - Artists - Kurimanzutto

notable solo exhibitions

A selection of their most notable projects and recent exhibitions include: Chalk, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, United States (2019); Blackout. Allora & Calzadilla, MAXXI, Rome (2018); Unspecified Promise, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, United States (2017); Allora & Calzadilla: Echo to Artifact, Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA), Edmonton, Canada (2016); Puerto Rican Light (Cueva Vientos), a DIA Art Foundation commission in the Southern Coast of Puerto Rico (2015); Intervals, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fabric Workshop and Museum, United States (2014); Fault Lines, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi at the Palazzo Cusani, Milan, Italy (2013); Gloria, US Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennial (2011); Performance 9: Allora & Calzadilla, MoMA- Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010); Allora & Calzadilla, Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo, Norway (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 (2007); Allora & Calzadilla, Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2007); Wake Up, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, United States (2017); Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, S.M.A.K.-Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium (2006); Land Mark, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2006).

selected group exhibitions and biennials

Their work has also been curated into numerous group exhibitions at institutions such as: Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019); The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2018); National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul, South Korea (2017); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), (2017); an exhibition by Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA at Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles (2017); South London Gallery, United Kingdom (2016); MAMM-Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia (2016); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2016); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2014); Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014);  Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris (2013); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León MUSAC, Spain (2011); Princeton University Art Museum, United States (2010); The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada (2010); Aspen Art Museum, United States (2010); Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil (2009); New Museum, New York (2008); Museion - museo d’arte moderna e contemporanea di Bolzano, Italy (2008); Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, United States (2007); Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, United States (2007); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2007); Grand Palais, Paris (2006); Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, (2006), among many others.

Allora & Calzadilla have also participated in various international biennials, notably: Sharjah Biennial 13, Tamawuj, United Arab Emirates (2017); International Art Exhibition at the 56th Venice Biennial (2015); 10th and 7th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2014 and 2008); 9a and 6a Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2013 and 2007); 30th Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, Slovenia (2013); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012); 12. and 10. Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2011 and 2007); 29a and 14a Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2010 and 1998); 16th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2008); 9e Biennale de Lyon, France (2007); 1st and 2nd Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art (2005 and 2007); Sharjah Biennial 8, United Arab Emirates (2007); Whitney Biennial 2006, New York; the International Art Exhibition at the 51st Venice Biennial (2005); 2nd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, China (2005); 6e Biennale de l’Art africain contemporain, DAK’ART, Dakar, Senegal (2004); III Bienal Iberoamericana de Lima, Peru (2002); 8 Bienal de la Habana, Havana, Cuba (2000).

Video