from lissongallery.com / press release
Lisson Gallery is pleased to present Allora & Calzadilla’s third solo show at the gallery ‘Vieques Videos 2003-2011’. Made over the course of a decade Returning a Sound (2004), Under Discussion (2005) and Half Mast/Full Mast (2010) are now shown here together for the first time. Each video addresses the complicated history of Vieques, an inhabited island of Puerto Rico that was used by the United States Navy as a bomb-testing range from 1941 until 2003. The Navy was forced to evacuate by a civil disobedience campaign waged by local residents, with supporters throughout the world. Allora & Calzadilla contributed to the visual culture of this campaign with a long-term, multi-sited project entitled ‘Landmark’, informed by the following questions: ‘How is land differentiated from other land by the way it is marked? Who decides what is worth preserving and what should be destroyed? What are strategies for reclaiming marked land? How does one articulate an ethics and politics of land use?’
In Vieques the future of the reclaimed land remains uncertain and largely insulated from democratic claims. Returning a Sound (2004) was made at the beginning of the process of demilitarisation, decontamination, and future development and at once celebrates a victory and registers its precariousness. The video addresses not only the landscape of Vieques, but also its soundscape, invoking the memory of the sonic violence of the bombing. It follows Homar, an activist, as he traverses the island on a moped with a trumpet welded to the muffler. The noise-reducing device is diverted from its original purpose: with every jolt of the road and spurt of the engine, the trumpet might summon up the siren of an ambulance, Luigi Russolo’s Futurist Intonarumori or experimental jazz. In his circuit Homar acoustically recapitulates areas of the island formerly exposed to ear-splitting detonations.
Scarred with bomb-craters and with its ecosystem contaminated, the former military land has been designated as a federal wildlife refuge. This designation entails further violence by marginalising the demands of island residents for decontamination and municipal management – the point of departure for Under Discussion (2005). An overturned conference table has been retrofitted with an engine and rudder grafted from a small fishing boat. A local activist uses the motorized table to lead viewers around the restricted area of the island, re-marking the antagonisms that haunt the picturesque coast and bearing witness to the memory of the Fisherman’s Movement, which initiated the first acts of civil disobedience against the ecological fall-out of the bombing. The hybrid device explores the absurd political inequalities of the situation: the table, a common trope for the non-violent resolution of conflict, is forcibly reliant on local navigation.
Half Mast\Full Mast (2010) draws attention to the unfinished political, economic, and ecological reconstruction of the island as inhabitants grapple with the legacy of military occupation. Departing from the noisy dynamism of the earlier videos, Half Mast\Full Mast adopts a slower, more meditative approach. Projected at life-size, the silent video is comprised of 19 partitions; each is split into two landscape views of various sites in Vieques, stacked on top of one another. The horizontal divide is then crossed by two poles, aligned as if a continuous object. In each partition a young man hoists himself up the pole from standing to a horizontal position, and with intenseexertion momentarily becomes an unofficial flag – before endurance gives way to gravity. The gesture functions to reframe specific sites around Vieques significant to the military occupation and subsequent struggles in terms of a deceptively simple semiotic convention: the flying of the flag at half-mast (a sign of mourning) or full- mast (‘normal’ conditions). In ‘becoming’ a flag, however unofficial, absurd or precarious, the performers short-circuit the flag’s symbolic relation between parts and wholes. In Half Mast\Full Mast, the individual body ‘literally’ stands in for the flag, obliterating it as an official place for the collective body of the nation.
Alternating in an unpredictable manner between upper and lower segments of the composition, the appearance sometimes celebrates or salutes a particular site (such as places related to the history of civil disobedience), while in others it indicates a sense of discontent, if not crisis (such as the luxury W hotel recently constructed in Vieques). In other instances, the gesture is ambivalent relative to the sites in question, suspended somewhere between disaster and progress, oblivion and memory, grief and hope – oscillations that rebound on a broader scale between all three Vieques videos.
Allora & Calzadilla
Vieques Videos 2003–2011
23 November 2011 – 14 January 2012
52-54 Bell Street
London, NW1 5DA
T: + 44(0)20 7724 2739
F: + 44(0)20 7724 7124
LISSONGALLERY.COMAll iamges courtesy of LISSONGALLERY.COM
SELECTED / EXHIBITION / ALLORA & CALZADILLA / VIEQUES VIDEOS 2003/2011 @ LISSONGALLERY.COM
303 GALLERY AGE OF AQUARIUS AI WEIWEI ALDO MONDINO ALIGHIERO BOETTI ALLORA & CALZADILLA AMSTERDAM ANDREAS GURSKY ANDREAS SCHON ANDY CROSS ANDY WARHOL ANISH KAPOOR ANNE IMHOF ANSELM KIEFER ANTON CORBIJN ARNDT ARNOLFINI ART PROSPECT ARTISSIMA ARTIST BOOK ATTILA CSORGO BALI BARBARA KRUGER BARCELONA BASEL BASQUIAT BEATRIX RUF BELA KOLAROVA BENJAMIN DEGEN BEPI GHIOTTI BERLIN BERND E HILLA BECHER BETTY WOODMAN BIENNALE BORIS MIKHAILOV BRISTOL BROOKLYN MUSEUM CAI GUO-QIANG CAMILLE HENROT'S CANDIDA HOFER CARDI GALLERY CARL ANDRE CAROL RAMA CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN CARSTEN HOLLER CASTELLO DI RIVARA CASTELLO DI RIVOLI CATHERINE AHEARN CENTRE POMPIDOU CHARLES RAY CHARLINE VON HEYL CHICAGO CHRIS BURDEN CHRIS WATSON CHRISTIAN BOLTANSKI CHRISTIE'S CHTO DELAT COLOGNE CONCEPTUALISM COPENHAGEN COSMIC CONNECTIONS CRISTIAN BOLTANSKY CY TWOMBLY DAMIEN HIRST DAN GRAHAM DANH VO DANIEL EDLEN DANIEL RICH DANNY MC DONALD DAVID ZWIRNER DIA ART FOUNDATION DIET WIEGMAN DIETER ROTH DOCUMENTA DUBAI DUSSELDORF ED ATKINS EDEN EDEN ELGER ESSER EMILIO ISGRO' ESKER FOUNDATION ETTORE SPALLETTI EVA HESSE EVA PRESENHUBER FANG LIJUN FAUSTO MELOTTI FELIX GONZALES-TORRES FILIPPO SCIASCIA FONDATION BEYELER FONDATION CARTIER FONDAZIONE MERZ FRANCESCO BONAMI FRANCESCO POLI FRANCESCO VEZZOLI FRANCIS BACON FRANKFURT FRANZ KLINE FRIEDMAN GABRIEL OROZCO GABRIEL YARED GAM GARY ROUGH GEORGE BURGES MILLER GEORGE HENRY LONGLY GERHARD RICHTER GILBERT & GEORGE GIULIO PAOLINI GLADSTONE GALLERY GREENE NAFTALI GUENZANI GUGGENHEIM GUGGENHEIM BERLIN GUGGENHEIM BILBAO GUILLAUME LEBLON HAMBURG HAMBURGER BAHNHOF HAMISH FULTON HANGAR BICOCCA HAUSDERKUNST HAUSER & WIRTH HE XIANGYU HELENA ALMEIDA HEMA UPADHYAY HENRY MOORE HIROSHI SUGIMOTO HOWIE TSUI HUANG YONG PING IAN BREAKWELL ICA ICHWAN NOOR INSTALLATION INTERVIEW ISABELLA BORTOLOZZI ISTAMBUL JAMES LAVADOUR'S ROSE JAMES MELINAT JAMIE XX JANET CARDIFF JANNIS KOUNELLIS JASSIE BOSWELL JEFF KOONS JEPPE HEIN JESSICA WARBOYS JIVYA SOMA MASHE JOAN FONTCUBERTA JOHN BALDESSARRI JOHN MCCRACKEN JOHN STEZAKER JON RAFMAN JORG SASSE JOSEPH KOSUTH JOTA CASTRO JURGEN TELLER KARA TANAKA KARL ANDERSSON KARLSRUHE KAVIN APPEL KONRAD LUEG KUNSTHAUS KUNSTMUSEUM LARRY BELL LIA RUMMA LISSON GALLERY LIU YE LONDON LOUISE BOURGEOIS LUC TUYMANS LUCIAN FREUD LUCIE STAHL LUIGI MAINOLFI LUISA RABBIA MADRE MAM PARIS MARC QUINN MARCO CASSANI MARIA CRISTINA MUNDICI MARIAN GOODMAN MARINA ABRAMOVIC MARIO MERZ MARK LECKEY MARK ROTHKO MARTIN KIPPENBERGER MARTIN McGEOWN MARZIA MIGLIORA MASSIMO DE CARLO MATTHEW BARNEY MAURIZIO CATTELAN MAX SCHAFFER MAXXI MIAMI MIKE PARR MILAN MIMMO ROTELLA MING WONG MOMA MONTREAL MOUSSE MUMBAI MUYBRIDGE NATIONAL GALLERY NEW YORK NICO MUHLY NOBUYOSHI ARAKI NOTTINGHAM CONTEMPORARY NY OFCA INTERNATIONAL OLAFUR ELIASSON OSCAR MURILLO OTTO PIENE PACE GALLERY PAOLA PIVI PAOLO CURTONI PARIS PAUL MCCARTHY PERFORMANCE PHILIP GLASS PHILIP-LORCA DICORCIA PHILIPPE PERRENO PHILLIPS DE PURY PHOTOGRAPHY PIA STADTBAUMER PIPILOTTI RIST PORTRAITS PRISCILLA TEA RAPHAEL HEFTI REBECCA HORN RICHARD LONG RICHARD SERRA RICHARD T. WALKER RICHARD TUTTLE RINEKE DIJKSTR ROBERT MORRIS ROBERT SMITHSON ROBERT SMITHSON'S ROBIN RHODE ROMA RON MUECK RUDOLF HERZ RUDOLF STIEGEL RUDOLF STINGEL SAM FRANCIS SANTIAGO SERRA SARAH SUZUKI SCULPTURE SHARJAH BIENNAL SHIGERU TAKATO SIMON THOMPSON SOL LEWITT SOPHIE CALLE SPY STEDELIJK MUSEUM STEPHAN BELKENHOL STEVE MCQUEEN STEVE REINKE SUBODH GUPTA SUSAN PHILIPSZ TALA MADANI TATE BRITAIN TATE BRITIAN TATE MODERN TERESA MARGOLLES THADDAEUS ROPAC THE RENAISSENCE SOCIETY THOMAS EGGERER THOMAS HIRSCHHORN THOMAS RUFF THOMAS SARACENO THOMAS STRUTH TIM FAIN TOBIAS ZIELONY TOM FRIEDMAN TONY COKES TONY CONRAD TONY CRAGG TOO MUCH TOTAH TOZER PAK TURIN TURNER PRIZE UGO RONDINONE UK ULAY VANESSA BEECROFT VENICE BIENNALE VERA LUTTER VICTOR MOSCOSO VICTORIA MIRO VIENNA VIK MUNIZ VOID SERIES WHITE CUBE WHITECHAPEL GALLERY WIELS WILLIAMS PRESENHUBER WU TSANG YAN PEI-MING YANG YONGLIANG YOHJI YAMAMOTO YOKO ONO YUSUKE BENDAI YVES KLEIN ZHANG DAQIAN ZURICH