Alles over kunst



Allora & Calzadilla

Piero  Bisello

Praktische info

Allora & Calzadilla, ‘Entelechy,’ until 29 October 2023, Serralves, Porto,

Puerto Rico-based artist duo Allora & Calzadilla are some of the most lyrical artists of their generation. Their work evokes complex political and philosophical questions through research-based projects, which are narrative driven and depart from specific mediums. One of the centerpieces at the current survey exhibition at the Serralves Foundation in Porto, titled Entelechy, 2020, is exemplary: a cast replica of the lightning-stricken tree that led to the discovery of one of the most important cave painting sites, Lascaux, by some teenagers during World War II in France. Reminiscent of a science-fiction film script, the otherwise true-to-facts story is played out in the exhibition space through the sculpture to suggest a sense of destiny, spirituality and meaningful coincidence. In the exhibition, the earlier videos Under Discussion (2005) and Returning a Sound (2004) delve into Western imperialism by featuring the story of environmental and political abuse of the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico by the US and NATO: used as a bombing exercise location, Vieques and its citizens are the forgotten subjects elevated to main protagonists and subjects for political arguments advanced by the artists. However, the work excels when its philosophical importance is treated with subtlety, steering away from an ethnographic look. For example, the sculpture Petrified Petrol Pump (2010), a limestone-covered petrol pump with a hinted anthropomorphic shape, elevates the environmental discourse to the level of allegory.

Installation view Allora & Calzadilla, Entelechy, 2023, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, © Filipe Braga