Calzadilla In the Eye of the Storm. -Storms are an inevitable part of life. There are the literal storms: the tropical storms, the hurricanes. Then there are the metaphorical ones. The two usually appear together. In the aftermath of environmental destruction, political upheaval generally arises. One recent art exhibition In the Eye of the Storm explores how artists from vulnerable areas in the Caribbean respond to natural disasters. Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture in Begium is presenting the poignant showcase until January, 23, 2022. It features artists from Puerto Rico, Haiti, Barbados, Grenada, Guadeloupe and Martinique. Included in the lineup of world-renowned artists is Cuban artist Guillermo Calzadilla. He makes up one part of the collaborative duo Allora & Calzadilla, based in Puerto Rico.
Allora & Calzadilla began their collaborative career in 1995. Since then, they have produced a variety of interdisciplinary works. The duo combines performance, sculpture, sound, video, and photography. Their art makes statements about the intersection of culture, history, and geopolitics. In the Eye of the Storm displays pieces that relate the destruction of physical landscapes to sociopolitical storms. They trace the origins to colonial conquests, which rendered their homes economically vulnerable. Their 2019 piece titled Graft is included in the show. In this work, the artists present remnants of deforestation. It includes thousands of yellow blossoms from an oak tree native to the Caribbean. They were recreated from recycled polyvinyl chloride and hand painted. The artists mimicked the leaves natural seven degrees of decomposition, from the newly fallen to the wilted.
Guillermo Calzadilla was born in Havana, Cuba in 1971. In 1996 he received a BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico in San Juan. He met Jennifer Allora while studying abroad in Italy. He received an MFA from Bard College in 2001.
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