The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Fabric Workshop and Museum will present Allora & Calzadilla: Intervals, the largest solo exhibition in the United States by the Puerto Rico-based collective. Included will be several new and recent projects, ranging from films and sculpture to sound pieces and performances, many of which have not been seen in this country. Since 1995, Jennifer Allora (born in 1974 in Philadelphia) and Guillermo Calzadilla (born in 1971 in Havana, Cuba) have worked in close collaboration on a conceptually rigorous body of work that focuses upon the intersections of history, material culture, and politics through a wide variety of media.
Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer, of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, said: “This project celebrates a spirit of collaboration on many levels, with two artists, two museums and musical collaborators who will perform as part of the exhibition. Many people had the opportunity to become familiar with the work of Allora & Calzadilla in 2011 when they were selected to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale, and many more will be fascinated as well as delighted by the new directions their work has taken since.”
Marion Boulton Stroud, Founder and Artistic Director of The Fabric Workshop and Museum, stated: “Working with our colleagues at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we are proud to bring this exceptional exhibition to our city, a fitting place in which to premiere new work by these creative talents.”
The Philadelphia Museum of Art will present three films, each of which stems from the artists’ in-depth research of artifacts and a conceptual reconsideration of human relationships to them. In the film Raptor’s Rapture (2012), a specialist in prehistoric wind instruments, Bernadette Käfer, plays a 35,000-year-old flute carved from the wing bone of a griffin vulture in the presence of a live vulture. In Apotomē (2013), singer Tim Storms—who possesses the lowest recorded human voice in the world—handles the skeletal remains of two elephants as he performs a subsonic version of music that was played to them in 1798 as part of an experiment in Paris. In 3 (2013), cellist Maya Beiser plays a musical score by renowned composer David Lang to a prehistoric figurine known as the Venus of Lespugue. Lang derived the musical scale from the exaggerated feminine proportions of the statue. The film documents the process of transcribing the Venus into music.
Also presented in the exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be Interludes, a new sound work in which the breaths commonly muted from unmixed vocal recordings will be heard. The Museum will also premiere a new choral work composed by Christopher Rountree titled In the Midst of Things. Performed by 12 members of the Philadelphia-based choir The Crossing, this work is a new arrangement of Joseph Haydn’s The Creation (1796-98). In addition, an orchestral performance titled A Concert for Elephants, composed by Rountree, revisits the music played to the elephants in 1798, staging 11 musicians from the Philadelphia-based ensemble Relâche in juxtaposition to the film Apotomē.
At The Fabric Workshop and Museum, a second installation of Interludes will serve as a connective theme between the two venues. Lifespan, a new sculpture and performance work, will focus on a single rock—a sample of the earth’s mantle estimated to be over 4 billion years old. Suspended from the ceiling, the rock will be “played” by three vocalists whose whistling and breathing to a composition by David Lang subtly moves the rock like a pendulum. The Great Silence, a new, 3-channel video installation, focuses on the world’s largest radio telescope, located in Esperanza, Puerto Rico, home to the last remaining wild populations of a critically endangered species of parrots. Science fiction author Ted Chiang provided a subtitled script for the film in the spirit of a fable that ponders the irreducible gaps between living, nonliving, human, animal, technological, and cosmic actors. In addition, a sculptural installation titled Intervals, which takes its name from the exhibition, will be premiered. Composed of transparent acrylic lecterns that hold fragments of dinosaur bones at heights corresponding to the body of the animal, Intervals will offer a fractured reading of natural history.
Allora & Calzadilla notes, “Intervals revels in the unknowable as essential to human experience. The exhibition bears witness to incomplete presences and resonant remainders. It finds in music a measure and a reckoning with these elusive forces and the abyss that lies between.”
This exhibition is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Fabric Workshop and Museum.
At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this exhibition is part of the Live Cinema series. At The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Allora & Calzadilla created new work through its Artist-in-Residence Program.
Allora & Calzadilla: Intervals has been funded at the Philadelphia Museum of Art by an anonymous donor and at The Fabric Workshop and Museum by the Edna W. Andrade Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Shipley-Miller Foundation, and by the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Additional generous support of the two-site exhibition was provided by Colección Isabel y Agustin Coppel CIAC A.C., the Gladstone Gallery, Kurimanzutto Gallery, Lisson Gallery, and Galerie Chantal Crousel.
About Allora & Calzadilla
Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla have exhibited widely and their work is held in many public and private institutions. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented at the Nicola Trussardi Foundation, Milan (2013); Indianapolis Museum of Art (2012); the US Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); the Museum of Modern Art (2010); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2008); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2008); Serpentine Galleries, London (2007); and the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2007). Group exhibitions in which their work has been included were Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany (2012); the 5th, 7th, and 10th Gwangju Biennials, South Korea (2004, 2008, 2014); and the 24th and the 29th São Paulo Biennial (1998, 2010), among others. Allora & Calzadilla live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Erica F. Battle, The John Alchin and Hal Marryatt Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Marion Boulton Stroud, Founder and Artistic Director, The Fabric Workshop and Museum; Stephanie Alison Greene, Head of Exhibitions and Publications, The Fabric Workshop and Museum.
The Fabric Workshop and Museum: first, second, and eighth floors, 1214 Arch Street, Philadelphia; Monday–Friday, 10:00 am–6:00 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, noon–5:00 pm, free.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Julien Levy Gallery and the Skylit Atrium, first floor, Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building; Tuesday–Sunday: 10:00 am–5:00 pm.
About The Fabric Workshop and Museum
The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is the only museum of its kind, offering internationally renowned artists the resources to create new work in experimental materials. Artists come from all media—including sculpture, installation, video, painting, ceramics, and architecture—and use FWM’s facilities and technical expertise to create works of art that they could not create on their own. Research, construction, and fabrication occur onsite in studios that are open to the public, providing visitors with the opportunity to see works of art from conception to completion. FWM’s permanent collections include not only complete works of art, but also material research, samples, prototypes, and photography and video of artists making and speaking about their work. Access to the creative process provides visitors with a point of entry into understanding challenging works of contemporary art. FWM offers an unparalleled experience to those young and old, including the most significant artists of our time, students, and the general public.
For more information, or to request images:
Philadelphia Museum of Art: Norman Keyes, Director of Communications, 215.684.7862, email@example.com
The Fabric Workshop and Museum: Michele Bregande, Assistant to the Directors-Public Relations, 215.561.8888, firstname.lastname@example.org