Allora & Calzadilla

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Allora & Calzadilla
Allora & Calzadilla, "Stop Repair, Prepare", 2008
Born Jennifer Allora (1974-03-20) March 20, 1974 (age 41) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Guillermo Calzadilla (1971-01-10) January 10, 1971 (age 44) Havana, Cuba
Education Jennifer Allora: University of Richmond, Virginia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Guillermo Calzadilla: Escuela de Artes Plasticas, San Juan and Bard College
Known for performance, sculpture, video art, and sound art

Jennifer Allora (born 20 March 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla (born 10 January 1971) are a collaborative duo of visual artists who live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They represented the USA in the 2011 Venice Biennale.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Jennifer Allora was born in 1974 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2] In 1996 she received a BA from the University of Richmond in Virginia.[2] In 2003 she attained a Master of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[2] Between 1998-9 she was a fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program.[3]

Guillermo Calzadilla was born in Havana, Cuba.[2] In 1996 he received a BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas in San Juan, Puerto Rico.[2] In 2001 he attained an MFA from Bard College in 2001.[3]


Allora & Calzadilla met while studying abroad in Florence, Italy.[4] They have worked together since 1995. Allora & Calzadilla work in a variety of media and they have collaboratively produced an expansive interdisciplinary body of work including sculpture, photography, performance art, sound and video.[5] Their artistic practice engages with history and contemporary geo-political realities, destabilizing and re-ordering them in ways that can be alternately humorous, poetic, and revelatory.[5]


Allora & Calzadilla's work has been featured in solo exhibitions internationally, including Haus der Kunst, Munich (2008),[6] Serpentine Gallery and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2007),[7] Les Rencontres d'Arles festival, France (2008), Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2008),[8] Kunsthalle Zurich (2007),[9] National Museum of Art, Oslo (2009) [10] and the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2007).[11] Allora & Calzadilla also participated in the 5th and 7th Gwangju Biennale (2004 and 2008).

2011 Venice Biennale[edit]

On September 8, 2010, the United States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announced the selection of Allora & Calzadilla as the American representative to the 2011 Venice Biennale,[1] marking the first time for artists living in Puerto Rico represent the U.S. The Indianapolis Museum of Art presented their work, which consisted of 6 new commissions. In The Brooklyn Rail, writer David St.-Lascaux describes the pavilion installation Gloria: "First, there’s the tank, lying upside down in the gravel. Then there’s the architrave: STATI UNITI D’AMERICA, in Trajan column capitals. And then there’s the 7’6” copy of the U.S. Capitol’s crowning Statue of Freedom, in blackened bronze, lying inside the 'Solaris 442 sun bed.'"[12]

Public collections[edit]

Their works are held in a number of public institutions, including:


In 2008 Allora & Calzadilla were featured in the PBS series Art:21.[17] In 2011 the artists were shortlisted for London's Fourth Plinth commission. Fourth Plinth

Awards & Grants[edit]


  • Michel Feher (ed.) Non-Governmental Politics, Zone Books & the MIT Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-890951-74-0[23]
  • Yates McKee, “Allora & Calzadilla. The monstrous dimension of art,” Flash Art, Milan, no. 240, January–February 2005.
  • J.J. Charlesworth, “Allora & Calzadilla: Power Plays,” Art Review, London, Issue 15, October 2007.
  • Tom McDonough, “Use What Sinks: Allora & Calzadilla,” Art in America, New York City, no. 1, January 2008.
  • Yates McKee, "Wake, Vestige, Survival: Sustainability and the Politics of the Trace in Allora and Calzadilla’s Land Mark," October #133, MIT Press, summer 2010.


External links[edit]

  1. ^ The New York Times, December 20, 2009.
  2. ^ The New York Times, January 30, 2009.
  3. ^ Frieze Online Blog, February 23, 2009.
  4. ^ Frieze, Issue 108, June-August 2007.
  5. ^ Artforum, May 2007