Artist talk: Jennifer Allora


From 26 May 2019




Garage Auditorium
Artist talk: Jennifer AlloraArtist talk: Jennifer Allora


On the day that the Garage Square Commission Graft opens, Jennifer Allora of Puerto-Rico-based artist duo Allora & Calzadilla gives an artist talk about their first solo presentation in Russia.

In this talk Jennifer will present several works that focus on a non-coincidence of viewpoints.  By staging encounters between multiple temporalities and diverse actors, these artistic experiments wrestle with the abyss that lies between human and non-human entities, incomplete presences and vibrant remains. She will also present works the artists have made from a post-colonial, eco-critical perspective that focus on bio-political struggles for decolonization and ecological justice, perhaps most notably the work  they’ve done in Vieques, Puerto Rico.  

While all these works share a widespread concern in contemporary art with the powers of things and materials that operate beyond the scope and frame of human history, they likewise insist on the urgency of geopolitical awareness about the conditions of places like Puerto Rico and kindred territories in the global south. They involve what art historian Emily Eliza Scott calls “an experience of "feeling in the dark"—the affect of unknowing when confronted with our proximity to the "abyss" of catastrophe, a condition that calls for new sensory forms and ethico-political dispositions not necessarily structured by anthropocentric figures of illuminated vision.”

Allora & Calzadilla’s installation will resonate with the themes examined in The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100, an exhibition exploring important issues around environmentalism and ecology, which will take place at Garage from June 28 to December 1, 2019.


Allora & Calzadilla are a collaborative duo of visual artists—Jennifer Allora (b. 1974, Philadelphia, USA) and Guillermo Calzadilla (b. 1971, Havana, Cuba)—who live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Solo exhibitions have taken place at Serpentine Gallery, London; Kunsthalle Zürich; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Haus der Kunst, Munich; MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York; Castello de Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin; Philadelphia Museum of Art;  MAXXI, Rome; Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Renaissance Society, Chicago; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and many other venues. Allora & Calzadilla represented the United States at the 54th Venice Biennial in 2011. In 2015, they made the site-specific installation Puerto Rican Light (Cueva Vientos), a Dia Art Foundation commission on the southern coast of Puerto Rico.

The duo has participated in different international group shows including recently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2017); National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul (2017); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2016); Hong Kong Arts Center, Hong Kong (2016); Long Museum, Shanghai (2015); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2014); and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014). They also participated in Documenta 13, Kassel (2012); 1st and 2nd Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art (2005, 2007); 51st and 56th Venice Biennale (2005, 2015); 5th, 7th, and 10th Gwangju Biennial (2004, 2008, 2014); 24th and 29th São Paulo Biennial (1998, 2010); 8th and 13th Sharjah Biennial (2007, 2017); and the Whitney Biennial, New York (2006).


Free admission with advance registration