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FormAllora & Calzadilla

May 1, 2008

“Who decides what forms last and which forms are destroyed?” Jennifer Allora, of the artist collective Allora & Calzadilla inquires. Set against footage of the artists’ 2006 installation, Ruin, Allora & Calzadilla reflect on the subject of form, contemplating how materiality and idealism influence a form’s various mutations, and how the concept of form influences their work as a whole.

“You talk about form and you think of an aesthetic discussion of the weight and scale and body and physicality or size of this thing,” says Guillermo Calzadilla. “You can talk about aesthetic form, but you can talk about forms of violence, forms of oppression, forms of genocide, believable forms—who decides what’s beautiful?” 

More information and credits


Producer: Susan Sollins & Nick Ravich. Camera: Bob Elfstrom & Miguel Sanchez-Martin. Sound: Ray Day. Editor: Monte Matteotti. Artwork courtesy: Allora & Calzadilla. Thanks: Galerie Chantal Crousel.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Allora & Calzadilla

Collaborating since 1995, Allora and Calzadilla approach visual art as a set of experiments that test whether ideas such as authorship, nationality, borders, and democracy adequately describe today’s increasingly global and consumerist society. Their hybrid works—often a unique mix of sculpture, photography, performance, sound, and video—explore the physical and conceptual act of mark-making and its survival through traces. By drawing historical, cultural, and political metaphors out of basic materials, Allora and Calzadilla’s works explore the complex associations between an object and its meaning.

“You can talk about aesthetic form, but you can talk about forms of violence, forms of oppression, forms of genocide, believable forms—who decides what’s beautiful?”

Guillermo Calzadilla 

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“Under Discussion” and Vieques

Artists and collaborators Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla discuss their 2005 video installation Under Discussion.

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